Multiple Bodies Found in 2 Unrefrigerated Trucks Outside N.Y.C. Funeral Home amid Coronavirus Crisis


A New York City funeral home is under investigation after human bodies were discovered inside unrefrigerated trucks outside of its business amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to officials.

Officers arrived on scene around 11:20 a.m. on Wednesday after a 911 call was received about bodies being stored inside two vehicles parked on a street in Brooklyn, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department told PEOPLE. Upon further investigation, police determined that the trucks belonged to a nearby funeral home.

The exact number of bodies found by investigators could not be confirmed by police, who said no criminality was established.

A spokesperson for the funeral home, identified as the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services, could not be immediately reached by PEOPLE. New York station WABC reported that a funeral director for the business told health officials that they ran out of freezer space for the bodies.

A representative for the New York State Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, though a spokesperson for the department told PIX11 that "funeral directors are required to store decedents awaiting burial or other final disposition in appropriate conditions and to follow their routine infection prevention and control precautions."

New York City has been the epicenters of the coronavirus in the United States. To reduce strain on hospitals and funeral homes amid the ongoing health crisis, the city has allowed some places to store bodies in refrigerated trucks to ensure the remains won't decompose before they're collected for burial, according to the New York Daily News.

One neighbor told CBS New York that the trucks, which were not refrigerated, had an "overwhelming" smell in the days leading up to the discovery.

It's unclear if the bodies inside the truck were linked to coronavirus.

As of Wednesday, there have been at least 305,204 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of New York, with 23,317 deaths from coronavirus-related illness, according to a New York Times database.

In the United States, there have been at least 1,045,033 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 60,931 deaths.

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