PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – State health officials say cremated remains of 45 people have been found in connection to an investigation into a now-defunct Providence funeral home.
Of the 45 cremated remains, health officials say 43 have been positively identified. Of those 43 identified remains, the deceased’s next of kin has been identified in all but one case. The Office of the State Medical Examiner (OSME) said the names of the deceased will not be released due to privacy concerns.
These 45 cremated remains are just the latest discoveries made in the health department’s investigation into the Pennine Funeral Home, located on Grove Street in Providence. A total of 54 human remains, cremated or otherwise, have been found in connection to the state probe into the funeral home.
Three badly decomposed bodies were discovered inside a Johnston storage unit Thursday – one of which was that of an infant. Police and health officials later confirmed the storage unit was initially rented to Alfred Pennine. Police are now contacting other storage facilities in the state to determine if more bodies are out there.
The funeral home was shut down last month after health officials discovered six bodies and the cremated remains of two others were stored “improperly” in the home. Alfred Pennine, the funeral home’s owner and sole proprietor, had just died in New Hampshire. The remains, health officials later said, may have been more than a decade old.
Five of the six bodies found last month have been identified. Four families have been notified, and two of the remains were released to other local funeral homes.
Investigators believe most of the bodies found in Johnston date back around 10 years; the body of the infant found Thursday, however, is believed to date back to 1982.