Decomposing bodies found at funeral home, two years after closin - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Decomposing bodies found at funeral home, two years after closing

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WADESBORO, NC (WBTV) -

For the second time in two years decomposing bodies have been found at a funeral home in Wadesboro, and it's been closed for two years.

Investigators made the gruesome discovery after the former owner told them that she did not cremate one of the bodies after being paid to do so.

The site of the old McLendon Funeral Home on N. Greene Street in Wadesboro is a macabre scene.

Head stones that should be in a cemetery are on the floor and in the parking lot, but that's not nearly the worst of it.

Longtime residents like Julie Jenkins say they've never heard about anything like this…decomposing bodies just left behind at a funeral home that hasn't even been operating for two years. 

Now the building is condemned and red strips of evidence tape seal the doors.

"When people's loved one pass you take them to the funeral home, you expect them to take care of the family," Jenkins told WBTV. "Not just to lay them out on a table or stuff them in a casket."

And that's exactly what investigators found on Wednesday. They had expected to find one body, but that wasn't all.

"The investigator that went in, they located two bodies," said Wadesboro Police Chief Thedis Spencer. "One that was inside of a casket and the other body was on a table."

The former owner Mary McLendon was found guilty on Wednesday of obtaining property by false pretenses involving three similar cases from 2012, and during testimony, revealed through her attorney the location of another body, prompting the police search.

McLendon's license was taken by the N.C. Board of Funeral Directors after three bodies that were supposed to have buried or cremated where found inside the building.

"You expect the funeral director to comfort you and take care of your loved ones, but obviously Ms. McLendon didn't do that," Jenkins added.

McLendon has now been sentenced to between 6 and 17 months in prison.

One of the two bodies found yesterday has been identified as that of Marshall Lee Allen.  Investigators are hoping the medical examiner will be able to identify the second body.

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