By Leader Editor Kara Apel & Contributor Emma Horton
New allegations have been raised against the operator of Heritage Funeral Home in Mobile, AL.
Cedrick McMillian, a convicted sex offender, is accused of mishandling bodies and running an illegal cemetery.
Authorities became concerned after families claimed that caskets were being dug up and reused and that their loved ones were not being buried where they were supposed to be, according to WALA-TV.
This led to authorities conducting raids at McMillian’s business, home, and a local church. The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office said deputies found empty coffins and a “foul odor” coming from inside the church.
Local media outlets have reported that Heritage Funeral Home was operating without a city business license. While the funeral home reportedly had its state funeral establishment license, WPMI-TV said their reporters could not locate a city business license for the firm. The state of Alabama requires funeral homes to have both licenses.
WKRG-TV reported that the funeral home’s city license expired on Oct. 10, 2018, but since that date, over 100 obituaries have been posted on their website.
On top of these claims and investigations, McMillian is also currently involved in a lawsuit concerning improper burial. The lawsuit alleges that a woman was buried on a piece of property owned by New Birth Community Church. The lawsuit claims that this land is not zoned for cemetery use and is prone to extensive flooding.
“It’s not an official cemetery and that’s kind of the beginning of the problem and that’s what led to a lot of the beginning of the investigation. It’s a plot of land that McMillian has alleged or said is a legal cemetery,” said Captain Paul Burch of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office to WALA-TV.
According to multiple media outlets, McMillian turned himself in last month after allegedly violating the terms of his sex offender registration. Heritage Funeral Home is located within 2,000 feet of a daycare.
Local media outlets reported in late May that the funeral home had “temporarily shut down” after the funeral director and embalmer resigned. The business is reportedly up for sale.