(WXYZ) — The Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced Friday that they, along with the Department of the Attorney General, issued a cease and desist order to an unregistered Ypsilanti crematory business.
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According to the press release from LARA, Tri-County Cremation Services, LLC, which is located at 1106 E. Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti were operating a crematory without a registration.
7 Action News had the only cameras rolling as law enforcement and the state raided the Tri-County Crematorium yesterday.
The owners have been identified as O’Neil D. Swanson, II, and Dianne E. Swanson. Controversial former funeral director O’Neil Swanson II has a history of licensing problems with the state, as previously reported by our 7 Investigators.
As soon we saw O’Neil Swanson II on the property at this crematorium we started asking questions. There was no record of him with the state being allowed to own and operate a crematorium – and that’s now one of many reasons he’s being ordered to ceases and desist.
The state revoked his mortuary sciences license back in 2018 after they found decomposing bodies at his Flint funeral home. That means he’s not eligible to hold a controlling interest in a cemetery or crematory. But state officials say he purchased Tri-County crematory in March of 2020.
Swanson was also convicted of felony conversion of funds under the pre-paid funeral and cemetery sales act.
LARA reportedly began an investigation into the Tri-County Cremation Services, LLC, after they received an anonymous complaint stating that "heavy smoke was coming from the crematory chimney, deceased individuals were awaiting cremation and not being properly stored, and bodily fluids were leaking onto the floor of the facility."
The investigation, according to LARA, revealed the following:
- In March 2020, O’Neil Swanson and Dianne E. Swanson purportedly purchased the existing crematory business without first receiving a certificate of approval for a change of control from the Cemetery Commissioner.
- In early 2021, Tri-County Cremation Services, L.L.C. identified O’Neil Swanson as its “member” on filings made with LARA’s Corporations Division.
- Beginning in March 2020, Respondents owned and operated the crematory without a valid registration issued under the Act.
- Deceased individuals were being improperly stored and bodily fluids were leaking onto the floor of the facility.
LARA said they are working with the Department of Attorney General to identify the deceased found at Tri-County Cremation Services, L.L.C. still awaiting cremation.
We did speak to ONeil Swanson’s lawyer. He said they’re still reviewing the allegations from the state.
Anyone with questions about the crematory is encouraged to contact LARA at (517) 241-7000 or by email at CSCLonline@michigan.gov.