Indiana funeral director pleads guilty to robbery after 31 decomposing bodies found at funeral home


An Indiana funeral director pleaded guilty Friday to dozens of burglary charges after 31 decomposing bodies and 17 cremations were found 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 of home confinement. youAssociated Press reported.

Lankford pleaded guilty to 43 counts of burglary in which the value of the property ranges from $750 to $50,000, Clark County court records show. He had been charged with 86 counts of theft and one count of corrupt business influence, records show.

The robbery charge was for failing to complete funeral services for which he was paid, according to AP.

Lankford will remain in custody under house confinement until a sentencing hearing on June 23, records show.

He is still facing 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 petition from the Indiana attorney general seeking to suspend Lankford’s license.

Authorities discovered that three of the facility’s four air conditioners were not working, according to the petition. The bodies in body bags were stored in different rooms, the petition says, and several had been there for an «extended» period of time.

The bodies were in various stages of decomposition, the attorney general’s office said.

In a civil lawsuit filed last week, a couple said Lankford sent them a plastic box last June purporting 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 in the Lankford business.

The lawsuit accuses Lankford of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract.

A message left at a number listed for Lankford was not immediately returned Friday night. Lankford’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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