A New Jersey funeral home worker has admitted to dumping a child-sized casket containing a deceased baby’s organs on a Pennsylvania sidewalk earlier this week.
According to police, the funeral home director, whose name has not yet been released, contacted investigators in Philadelphia on Tuesday and reported one of his employees had acknowledged dumping the casket.
“It’s shocking, to say the least,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Malachi Jones said at press conference.
According to Jones, the organs belong to a baby between 3 and 4 months of age who was buried in South Jersey last Thursday. Jones declined to specify the baby’s exact age and gender.
“Just prior to the funeral, the casket latch broke,” Jones said. “The baby was transferred from that broken casket to another casket.”
A passerby found the broken casket in the 3100 block of W. Clearfield Street on Monday night. The location is near a cemetery, which initially prompted fears that someone had dug up the coffin. However, police were unable to identify any disturbed plots in the area.
Left unclear is why the baby’s organs were inside the casket and why the funeral home worker chose to dump it in Philadelphia.
That “is something we are still investigating,” said the captain. “This is obviously not normal practice to how this is done.”
The child’s family was notified prior to the press conference.
“From what I understand, the family was quite upset,” Jones said.
The investigation is ongoing. As of Friday, no charges have been filed.