After gruesome discovery, cops contacting other storage facilities

The state Medical Examiner was called to a storage unit in Johnston after three bodies were found inside. (Photo: Madeleine Wright/WPRI 12)

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Following the discovery of three decomposing bodies in a storage unit, Johnston and Providence police are conducting a joint investigation. They’re trying to determine if there are more bodies out there.

“I know Providence Police Maj. [David] Lapatin asked owners of all facilities in the state to check their records for an Alfred Pennine, and if you rented any facilities, in any city or town to contact the Providence police,” said Maj. Frank Levesque of the Johnston Police Department.

The gruesome discovery was made Thursday. Three badly decomposing bodies, one of them an infant, were found inside a storage unit at United Storage on Putnam Pike.

The unit was rented out to the late Alfred Pennine, the owner of Pennine Funeral Home in Providence. The Health Department shut down the Grove Street business last month after six bodies and the cremated remains of two others were discovered following Pennine’s death.

Investigators believe most of the bodies date back within a time frame of about 10 years. However, the body of the infant found in the unit dates back to 1982.

Levesque said the two adult bodies found in the unit were too badly decomposed to immediately determine gender. Police said the infant’s body had a name attached to it.

“They’ve been deceased a long time and the decomposition was extensive,” Levesque said. “It was disturbing, to see these bodies there and the coffins not where they’re supposed to be. Not buried like they were supposed to be.”

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