Remains at funeral home could be decade old

The Pennine Funeral Home was shut down after 8 mishandled bodies were removed from it on Friday.

Several bodies were stored for up to a decade or more at a Providence home whose owner killed himself last week, police said Thursday.

Six unburied bodies and two sets of cremated remains were found on the property of the Pennine Funeral Home on Grove Street.

"We are working with the medical examiner's office to determine whether there was any crime involved in the Pennine Funeral Parlor," Maj. David Lapatin said.

The bodies were discovered just days after funeral director Alfred Pennine was found dead in an apparent suicide in New Hampshire on July 21.

A local funeral director said funeral homes are subject to inspections during which they are walked through and records are reviewed.

NBC 10 spent the day trying to obtain inspection records for the Pennine Funeral Home, but state Health Department administrators said there is an ongoing internal investigation.

"Upon completion of the internal investigation, all results will be made available to the public as the criminal investigation allows," a Department of Health statement said.

In the Pennine case, NBC 10 can confirm that Pennine has been in trouble with the Health Department before and has had his license suspended for multiple offenses.

"The medical examiner is in the process of identifying the bodies now, and then together, we will contact relatives," Lapatin said.

A preliminary inspection reveals that of the six bodies found, five were elderly adults and one was a fetus.