Unlicensed mortician kept remains in self-storage units

Authorities found 12 bodies and the cremated remains of more than 40 other people

BOSTON (AP) — Authorities say they have found 12 bodies and the cremated remains of more than 40 other people in self-storage units rented in the name of an unlicensed Massachusetts funeral director.

This undated booking photo released by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office shows Joseph O’Donnell, being held in Boston on larceny charges. On Thursday, July 17, 2014, investigators found 12 sets of human remains at a facility rented in O’Donnell’s name in Weymouth, Mass. On Wednesday, investigators found cremated remains of more than 40 others at a Somerville, Mass., storage facility, also rented in O’Donnell’s name. O’Donnell’s funeral director’s license lapsed in 2008. (AP Photo/Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office)
This undated booking photo released by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office shows Joseph O’Donnell, being held in Boston on larceny charges. (AP Photo/Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office)

 

Joseph O’Donnell was being held on $10,000 bail in a larceny case when investigators found cremated remains Wednesday at a Somerville self-storage business. On Thursday, they found 12 sets of human remains at a similar business in Weymouth.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said no foul play is suspected and investigators are working to identify the remains.

O’Donnell’s funeral director’s license lapsed in 2008. A message seeking comment was left with his attorney.

Conley’s spokesman said no charges have been sought against O’Donnell in the discovery of the human remains, but authorities are “approaching it as a criminal investigation.”

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