Funeral director charged after decomposing bodies found in Strawberry Mansion garage

STRAWBERRY MANSION (WPVI) -- Police have arrested a funeral director after three decomposed bodies were found in a Strawberry Mansion garage back in August.

Janet Powell-Dailey, 72, of Powell Funeral Home is facing multiple charges including abuse of a corpse and theft.

Investigators say the three bodies were left in the hot, dingy garage for an extended period of time after being dropped off by a nursing home to the funeral home around the corner.

A coffin and two cardboard body boxes were found in that garage on the 2600 block of Hagert Street, police say.

Philadelphia police are investigating the discovery of three decomposed bodies in a garage in Strawberry Mansion.


Among the bodies was 84-year-old Albert Andrews.

His family says Andrews died of dementia a month earlier. They thought he'd been cremated a day after he passed, but that apparently wasn't the case.

Action News spoke with one of his daughter's via telephone on Thursday.

"Today's news was a relief for us because my sisters and I have been going through months of anxiety about this,' said Theresa Pearson.

Pearson said she and her family learned of the improper handling of her father's body through media reports.

They called Powell-Dailey, who allegedly told them Andrews had been cremated.

But when the family repeatedly contacted Ivy Hill Cemetery, where he was supposed to be interred, the cemetery said Powell Dailey never delivered his remains.

"She said I want you to know I did nothing wrong. She said it's the media coming after poor, black businesses," said Pearson.

Andrews is now laid to rest in an historic cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, where Pearson lives.

Powell Dailey is now in police custody.

"I don't want her to have the opportunity to do this kind of thing to any other families because it really hurt us," said Pearson.

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