Funeral home director arrested, charged with abuse of corpse

Janet Powell-Dailey
This undated photo provided by Philadelphia Police Department shows Janet Powell-Dailey. The Philadelphia Police Department says Powell-Dailey, who ran Powell Funeral Home, was taken into custody Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 and charged with abuse of a corpse months after three decomposing bodies were found in a garage. (Philadelphia Police Department via AP)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A funeral director has been arrested and charged with abuse of a corpse months after three decomposing bodies were found in her garage.

Janet Powell-Dailey, 72, was taken into custody Thursday, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. Powell-Dailey ran Powell Funeral Home and owned the adjacent garage in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood in north Philadelphia.

Police were called to the garage in August after neighbors investigating a foul odor stumbled upon the bodies. One was in a coffin and two others were in cardboard body boxes.

A detective testified at a September hearing over Powell-Dailey’s license that the corpses were covered in hundreds of maggots and one was so badly decomposed it was partially liquefied, according to a report in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The funeral home, which had been in Powell-Dailey’s family for decades, had been operating without a license since 2012.

Her son, Chris Dailey, told the Inquirer in August that the bodies wound up in the garage over a “misunderstanding.” He defended his mother as a solid businesswoman who stuck it out in the neighborhood when so many businesses moved elsewhere.

Online court records don’t list an attorney for Powell-Dailey.

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