NATIONAL NEWS

Indiana revokes licenses of funeral home and director after decomposing bodies and cremains found

Aug 15, 2023, 12:00 PM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The licenses of a southern Indiana funeral home and its director have been revoked following an investigation that found 31 decomposing bodies and 17 cremains being stored at the facility, the state’s attorney general announced Tuesday.

Some of the corpses inside the Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center in Jeffersonville, which is owned by Randy Lankford, had been awaiting cremation for months, Attorney General Todd Rokita said.

The investigation started in July 2022 after a coroner’s office reported a strong odor emanating from the building. The unrefrigerated bodies were found in various states of decomposition.

An administrative complaint was filed earlier this year with the State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service, and Lankford and his funeral home were charged with professional incompetence, failure to dispose of the 31 bodies in a timely manner, storing cremains at the facility beyond the legally permitted period and other charges, Rokita’s office said.

The funeral home’s license and Lankford’s funeral director license were permanently revoked on Aug. 3.

The Associated Press left a message Tuesday morning seeking comment from Lankford’s attorney.

Lankford pleaded guilty in May to more than 40 counts of felony theft. He was charged with theft for failing to complete the funeral services for which he was paid. He also has to pay restitution to 53 families totaling $46,000.

As part of his plea, Lankford was given a 12-year sentence split between time served, house arrest and probation.

Jeffersonville is along the Ohio River, north of Louisville.

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Indiana revokes licenses of funeral home and director after decomposing bodies and cremains found