Weymouth, Massachusetts – This is certainly not the type of find that anyone on the popular reality TV competition “Storage Wars” would want to find: twelve human bodies. Police made the incredible discovery after arresting Joseph O’Donnell for grand theft for the sum of $12,000 which he accepted from a family for funeral expenses. He promptly closed the business and attempted to keep the cash. O’Donnell was taken into custody three months ago, but only now are the details emerging from his handling of human remains.
Officers found the remnants of up to 40 people who had been cremated and tucked away at a storage facility in Somerville to the north of Boston. The ongoing investigation led them to Weymouth, a southern suburb of Boston, where the bodies of a dozen deceased were found.
The bodies were kept in at local facility of the nationwide chain Public Storage. At this point, no one is alleging that O’Donnell was a serial murderer. In fact, the investigation is focused on identifying the deceased so that their next of kin can be notified. It is curious how so many people could be tucked away in a storage facility and no one notice. Then again, it’s not clear what O’Donnell used to store the bodies in either. Officers admit that the process of identifying so many unclaimed bodies is labor intensive.
It’s not even clear how long the bodies had been kept in storage. Nor is it clear what additional charges O’Donnell will be brought up on in connection with the mishandling of what might be 52 people, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said.
Thus far, the only charge he faces is in connection with the $12,000 he attempted to fleece a family out of. For his part, he has plead not guilty to accepting $12,000, closing his business shortly thereafter, failing to deliver funeral services as promised, and refusing to return the money.
“Our top priority right now is determining the identity of the remains we’ve discovered,” Conley said. “We’ve seized records and documents that could help us locate those people’s families, but this will be a time- and labor-intensive task.”
bodies in storage unit