OHIO authorities investigated a church in Akron this week, finding the cremated remains of at least 90 people, with the names of the deceased scrawled on boxes and bags containing dangerous substances biological.
The cremated remains were discovered at Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church, the church of Shawnte Hardin, a pastor indicted last year for mishandling the body.
Hardin was prosecuted last year for more than three dozen counts, most of them felonies, involving operating funeral services across Ohio without a license.
However, Hardin’s attorney says the newly discovered remains are not related to the pastor’s unauthorized funeral practices.
The remains are believed to be related to Robert Tate, a funeral home director who was charged with “corpse abuse” after authorities discovered 11 dead bodies in his garage.
Attorney Richard Kerger said Hardin was simply “keeping the last name” for his “acquaintance,” Robert Tate.
“He’s keeping them for an acquaintance and doesn’t think much of it and I’m sure he doesn’t think they’ll be there six years from now,” Kerger told WBNS.
In 2015, the authorities 11 bodies discovered in “various states of decay” inside Tate’s funeral home, including the body of an infant.
Many are stored in garages in humid conditions.
Tate was sentenced to five years of probation, ordered to give up his license as a funeral director and embalmer, and to close his business, Tate Funeral Services.
Tate died in December 2021 at the age of 65.
Hardin’s attorney asserts that the pastor did not violate Ohio law by keeping the remains in the church.
“A lot of families don’t come for the cremation,” Kerger said.
“These cremations are placed in the church, in a safe, secure and sacred place within the church,” he continued.
“Under Ohio law, it’s allowed.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has release a list of people whose remains were found in the church.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17331306/akron-ohio-church-remains-rotting-corpses-arrest/ Shocked to discover the remains of 90 ethnic groups found in an abandoned church linked to a man accused of abusing rotting corpses