Crematorium linked to controversial former funeral director raided

Posted at 11:33 PM, Jun 03, 2021

YPSILANTI (WXYZ) — Today a controversial former funeral director's crematorium was raided by the state and 7 Action News cameras were rolling.

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Tri-County Cremation Services in Ypsilanti was raided by law enforcement and the state of Michigan. Investigators went in and out of the business. Controversial former funeral director O’Neil Swanson II has a history of licensing problems with the state.

According to a state database, he does not appear to have a license to operate a crematorium.

Previous 7 Action News investigations found O’Neil said he was a funeral director at Aretha Franklin's funeral, even when interviewed by national television programs.

RELATED: State of Michigan long-aware of horrific complaints at Flint funeral home

Trouble started at the Swanson Funeral Home in Flint. There were allegations of decomposing bodies, blood-stained caskets and complaints about employees working without protective gear.

State investigators would later shut down the funeral home and revoked O’Neil's second mortuary science license. At the time, O’Neil Swanson Sr., owner of the Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit and Pontiac, said his son had no legal or business connection with his business.

We went back to the Tri-County crematorium and saw O’Neil inside.

State records show O’Neil is the registered agent at the Tri-County crematorium, even though the state database does not contain his name for crematorium licenses.

The state fined O’Neil $34,100. The attorney general also charged him with 10 felony counts for failing to fulfill funeral contracts. 7 Investigator Heather Catallo asked O’Neil at the time if he was working as a funeral director without a license.

Right now we are still waiting to find out why the Tri-County crematorium was raided. When we went looking for answers, the attorney general and state licensing office would only say it's part of an ongoing investigation.

Count on 7 Action News to stay on top of this story.