Old remains found in unrefrigerated morgue

Providence - Several bodies had been stored for up to a decade or more at a funeral home whose owner killed himself last week, police said on Thursday.

The bodies of five elderly adults, three men and two women and one fetus were found along with the cremated remains of two other people last week at the Pennine Funeral home in Providence, according to the state health department.

Providence police Major David Lapatin said indicators at the scene lead him to believe some of the bodies date back to the early 2000s. He declined to elaborate.

Detectives are waiting for the state medical examiner to finish identifying the bodies so they can contact any relatives, Lapatin said. Lapatin said the investigation is not currently considered criminal.

A spokesperson for the state health department said four of the six bodies have been tentatively identified.

The funeral home's director, Alfred Pennine, committed suicide 21 July in New Hampshire, according to authorities.

Another funeral director found the remains after returning from New Hampshire with Pennine's body.

Michael Berarducci told the Providence Journal that some of the bodies appeared to be identified with hospital tags, and that three were in caskets and two were in long cardboard boxes. They were in a garage that had been converted into an unrefrigerated morgue, the paper reported.