An Indiana funeral home director pleaded guilty to theft on Friday after 31 dead bodies were found in his funeral home.
Randy Lankford faces a possible sentence of 4 years in prison and 8 years of house arrest.
Police started investigating Lankford's funeral home in July 2022 when a county coroner noticed a foul odor in the building.
An Indiana funeral home director pleaded guilty to 40 counts of felony theft on Friday after authorities discovered 31 decomposing bodies and 17 more cremated remains decaying inside his funeral home for months.
Prosecutors charged Randy Lankford of Jeffersonville, Indiana with theft for failing to complete the funeral services he was paid for by at least 53 families, according to The Associated Press. A judge ordered Lankford to pay $46,000 in restitution to the families.
—Sean Baute (@seanbaute) May 26, 2023
The Jeffersonville Police Department began investigating Lankford's funeral home — Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center — in July 2022 when the county coroner noticed a foul odor coming from the building. Some of the bodies found in the funeral home had been there decomposing since March, the AP reported.
When sentenced, Lankford faces a proposed sentence of four years in prison with eight years of home incarceration, Clark County Circuit Court Judge N. Lisa Glickfield said in court on Friday.
Derrick Kessinger said he waited to hear from Langford as the remains of three of his loved ones sat inside his funeral home. Kessinger attended Friday's court hearing where Langford pleaded guilty and said he did eventually receive the cremated remains of his loved ones.
"It's been tough, but I do forgive him for what he did," Kessinger told the AP. "I hope he can find forgiveness."
Lankford has a sentencing hearing on June 23 and a restitution hearing scheduled on September 20, where the judge will determine how much additional money he has to pay to his victims, according to Clark County Circuit Court records.
Lankford is currently under house arrest until his sentencing hearing on June 23.
Lankford's attorney did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Saturday. The phone number listed for the funeral home was disconnected.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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