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Cleaning Crew Finds More Ashes At Troubled Mortuary

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
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FORT WORTH, Texas (CBS 11 NEWS) – A cleaning crew at the building once occupied by a mortuary where eight decaying and mummified bodies were found said they found ashes they believe are the cremated remains of a person.

The manager for the property leased out to Johnson Family Mortuary said it would be the second time they found cremated remains since the bodies were removed in mid-July.

“A week later we found several more containers of ashes that were turned over to Fort Worth P.D. at that time,” said the manager who only wanted to be identified as Rick. “And, just yesterday as we were doing the final round of clean up we found another container of ashes.”

The latest container of ashes was found on a shelf with what appeared to be cleaning supplies. The simple, black box apparently went unnoticed until the final stages of the building’s clean-up.

A Fort Worth police detective left with the possible remains late Wednesday morning.

Rick said this has been an ongoing, heartbreaking nightmare dealing with the clean up and family members looking for loved ones.

The aunt of one of two babies found decaying in the mortuary came to Rick looking for answers.

Read More About The Johnson Family Mortuary

“She asked me if there was a baby there,” Rick said. “I asked her how old the baby was and she said still born. And I said how long ago? And she said January. And at that point, luckily I had my sunglasses on because I started crying. I have kids and to imagine one of them being in a Tupperware container just ticked me off.

“When I was driving home, I just broke down in the car. I was so angry, so mad. That anybody would treat human beings like this, dead or alive, is just ridiculous to me. I can’t imagine.”

The managers of the mortuary, Dondre and Rachel Johnson, face seven counts of abuse of a corpse. Their attorney, Michael Todd, said he finds it odd that police and medical examiner investigators would have not found the ashes when they searched the building.

A Fort Worth Police Department spokesperson said it is not likely any further charges would be filed against the Johnsons if the ashes are human remains.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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