A Dorchester funeral director who is already behind bars awaiting trial on charges he stole funeral pre-payments from an elderly couple could be in even more trouble after detectives and pathologists recovered 12 bodies from the Public Storage facility in Weymouth and cremated remains at another self-storage place in Somerville, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
The bodies and remains did not pose a public-safety risk and foul play was not suspected in the deaths of the people involved, the DA's office says, adding all the remains are now in the custody of the state medical examiner, which will now try to identify them.
Joseph O'Donnell, 55, was already being held in lieu of $10,000 bail on charges he took more than $12,000 in funeral pre-payments from an elderly couple, then was unable to transfer one of their payments to cover the costs of another family member's funeral, in part because he had closed his Neponset Avenue funeral home.
The DA's office says investigators are looking at additional possible problems with funeral arrangements for which O'Donnell took money - including some he allegedly did after his funeral-director's license had lapsed in 2008. Anyone with concerns about a payment to O’Donnell for funeral or cremation services can contact the DA’s Special Investigations Unit at 617-619-4010.