FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A very disturbing story happening now in Fort Worth where several dead bodies have been discovered inside a now vacant funeral home.
The owner of the building on Handley Drive called 911 after finding the bodies inside what was formerly the Johnson Family Mortuary.
It was just after 8:00 a.m. Tuesday when police entered the building and quickly determined they were dealing with a crime scene.
Sergeant Raymond Bush, with the Fort Worth Police Department, explained, “The first officers that went inside did find evidence that there were multiple, unattended deceased persons in the building, Then they pulled out and called our Homicide Unit.”
According to detectives, the Johnson Family Mortuary received notice to vacate the building two weeks ago.
Specialists with the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office say eight bodies, including a baby, were left inside the building.
Twin brothers Dondre’ and Derrick Johnson are co-owners of the family-owned Johnson Family Mortuary. The family disputes any claim of neglect, and said no bodies were purposely left behind.
“We’ve done nothing… you’ll see we are right,” Dondre’ Johnson told CBS 11 News. “I have some embalmed bodies back there, which ya’ll had seen them bring out. They were already in the casket; already had a funeral [and] one was ready to go to Nairobi.”
Johnson said landlord caused the confusion and blames the owners for trying to kick him out of the business. “We don’t do business like that. We are professionals. Being a professional I’ve been in the funeral service over 25 years and I’m going to continue to serve my community.”
There have been no arrests made.
Benetha Johnson worked with the funeral home owners at another business and is surprised by this. “My heart is just going out to the families that have to be told that their loved one, ya know, hasn’t been taken care of,” she said.
Johnson had worked with the twins and thought well of them and their family. “My hear bleeds for the family… it really, really does. And these are some good boys, they are,” she said, adding, “They are some good people, but I just don’t know the kind of business, how the business is run on the inside. I just don’t know.”
The state agency that oversees the operations of funeral homes has received a number of complaints against the Johnson Family Mortuary.
Meanwhile, Fort Worth police homicide detectives are at the scene investigating. Sergeant Bush said, “Our primary concern at this point is to make sure that the Medical Examiner’s Office gets everything it needs from us to properly take care of the people that were left in the building.”
Homicide detectives spent hours at the scene and police are now trying to find the families associated with the bodies found. “We would ask any family members that believe a loved one may be in this business, unattended, to call the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office,” Sgt. Bush urged.
The main number to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office is 817–920–5700. Callers should press 5 for the investigation extension.
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