They discover the remains of 90 people in an abandoned church linked to a man accused of abusing corpses
Ohio authorities investigated an Akron church this week and they found the cremated remains of at least 90 people, with the names of the deceased scrawled on boxes and biohazard bags
The cremated remains were discovered in the Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church, where officiates Shawnte Hardin, a pastor who was charged last year with mishandling of bodies.
Hardin was indicted last year on more than three dozen charges, most of them felonies, related to running funeral services in Ohio without a license.
However, Hardin’s attorney said the newly discovered remains are not related to the pastor’s unauthorized burial operations.
The remains are believed to be related to Robert Tate, a funeral director who was accused of “abuse of corpses”. after authorities discovered 11 bodies in his garage.
Attorney Richard Kerger said Hardin was simply “holding” them for his “acquaintance,” Robert Tate.
“He kept them as acquaintances and he didn’t think much of it and I’m sure he didn’t think they’d be there six years later,” Kerger told WBNS.
In 2015, authorities discovered 11 bodies in “various states of decomposition” inside Tate’s funeral home, including the body of an infant.
Many were stored in a garage in damp conditions.
Tate was sentenced to five years probation, ordered to surrender his funeral director and embalming licenses, and close his funeral service business.
Tate died in December 2021 at the age of 65.
Hardin’s attorney maintains that the pastor did not violate Ohio state law by keeping the remains in the church.
“A lot of families don’t come to pick up cremated remains,” Kerger said.
“These cremations were in the church, in a safe and sacred place. Under Ohio law, it’s allowed.” The Ohio Attorney General’s office has released a list of people whose remains were found in the church.