NYC funeral home that stored dozens of bodies in rental trucks shut down

By JULIA JACOBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — The Brooklyn, New York funeral home that was caught storing dozens of bodies in rental trucks after it ran out of space due to the surge in COVID-19 deaths has been shut down by the state.

The license for the Andrew T. Cleckley funeral home in Brooklyn was suspended in April after police discovered nearly 100 decomposing bodies inside the two non-refrigerated U-Haul trucks and a U-Haul van. Owner Andrew Cleckley was also fined $68,000, ABC New York station WABC-TV reported.

This week, the funeral home was shuttered for good due to “egregious violations,” according to WABC.

Funeral homes and morgues quickly filled up as the pandemic raged through New York City in the spring.

Neighbors of the Cleckley funeral home called authorities to complain about a foul stench. When police arrived, they moved the bodies to a proper location.

Images showed dozens of bodies wrapped in body bags and stacked on top of one another inside of the trucks.

In April, New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker described the allegations against the funeral home as “appalling, disrespectful to the families of the deceased.”

“Funeral homes have a responsibility to manage their capacity appropriately and provide services in a respectful and competent manner,” Zucker said.

Cleckley told WABC in August that he “was the only funeral director during this pandemic who was singled out,” claiming that there were other funeral directors who dealt with the overflow of corpses in a similar manner.

A representative for the Andrew T. Cleckley funeral home did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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