Indiana funeral director pleads guilty to larceny after 31 decomposing bodies found at funeral home
An Indiana funeral director pleaded guilty Friday to dozens of felony theft charges after 31 decomposing bodies and 17 cremations were discovered at his funeral home last year, court records show.
Randy Lankford, owner of Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center in Jeffersonville, will pay $46,000 in restitution to 53 families and faces a proposed sentence of 12 years – four years in prison and eight years house arrest, The Associated reported. Press.
Lankford pleaded guilty to 43 counts of theft where the property value is between $750 and $50,000, according to Clark County court records. He had been charged with 86 counts of theft and one count of corrupt business influence, records show.
The theft charge was for failing to complete the funeral services he was paid for, according to the AP.
Lankford will remain in custody under house arrest until a sentencing hearing on June 23, records show.
He still faces multiple lawsuits from people whose loved ones were among the bodies or ashes found at his funeral home last July.
Jeffersonville police made the discovery after the local coroner’s office alerted the department to “conditions” at the funeral home on July 1, according to a motion by the Indiana attorney general to suspend Lankford’s license.
Authorities found that three of the four air conditioners at the facility were not working, according to the petition. Bodies in body bags were stored in different rooms, the petition says, and several had remained there for an “extended” period.
The bodies were in various stages of decomposition, the attorney general’s office said.
In a civil complaint filed last week, a couple said Lankford sent them a plastic box last June said to contain their daughter’s remains.
The couple later learned that their daughter had not been cremated at all – she was among the decomposing bodies discovered at the Lankford business.
The lawsuit accuses Lankford of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.
A message left on a number listed for Lankford was not immediately returned on Friday evening. Lankford’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.