FORT WORTH -- Two caskets were left behind at the now-closed Johnson Family Mortuary in Fort Worth.
They were clearly visible Thursday through an open door raised by the building's owners. J&J Leasing owns the building and they sent out their first public statement Friday, saying they were 'deeply saddened and disturbed by the information which has unfolded over the past ten days.
'We are shocked by the lack of respect given to the eight deceased members of our community,' the statement said. 'We acquired the building in which the mortuary was located in March 2014, and had no knowledge of any of these conditions prior to our discovery of the remains on July 15th.'
They are still purging the property, where seven decomposing bodies and one embalmed body were found last week.
Chairs were lined up outside in the sun, offering clues to conditions inside before the medical examiner removed the bodies.
Arrest warrants described a horrible stench and insect infestation, and said only one of the corpses found inside the mortuary had been cared for and was not severely decomposed. Six had been dead for weeks or months, and one corpse a stillborn baby girl had been dead since April, 2012.
Johnson Family Mortuary, a business run by Dondre Johnson and his wife, Rachel Hardy Johnson, was already under state investigation before the bodies were discovered on July 15, and its license was due to expire at the end of the month.
A source tells News 8 that cremated remains were found in a closet at the funeral home Wednesday, perhaps four urns. It is not unusual for cremated remains to go unclaimed at funeral homes.
However, we have also learned that detectives have told a family who used the mortuary that they were given the wrong ashes after their mother's funeral. That incident is now apparently part of the investigation into the treatment of remains by the Johnsons.
Both Dondre and Rachel Hardy Johnson face seven misdemeanor charges of abuse of corpse.