Infant among bodies found in R.I. storage unit

The unit had been auctioned off

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Three badly decomposed bodies were discovered inside a storage unit in Johnston, Rhode Island on Thursday – including the body of an infant.

Eyewitness News was first on scene as the state Medical Examiner and law enforcement from Providence and Johnston investigated at United Storage on Putnam Pike late Thursday afternoon.

Major Joseph Razza of the Johnston Police Department confirmed for Eyewitness News one of the bodies was in a coffin, another was on a piece of wood with cardboard over it.

The Medical Examiner left the scene around 5:00 p.m. and was transporting the bodies to the ME’s office. Razza said the remains appear to be those of two adults, because of the size.

Providence Police Major David Lapatin said the infant’s body wasn’t discovered until later because the man who purchased the unit had already driven away with some items. Police wanted a full inventory of what was in the unit so they asked him to return, and the baby was then found in a box among the items.

Razza said the bodies were connected to the now-defunct Pennine Funeral Home in Providence.

He said the unit was initially rented to the late Alfred Pennine. However, due to non-payment, the unit was auctioned off. Razza said the person who bought the contents of the unit discovered the remains inside.

Last month, the Rhode Island Health Department forced the Pennine Funeral Home to close after six bodies and the cremated remains of two others were discovered in the Grove St. business following Pennine’s death.

Police are now working to find out if there were other storage units in Rhode Island or New Hampshire rented out by Pennine.

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