Stillborn baby tossed in the trash at California funeral home

A contractor for a funeral home in Lodi tossed the body of a stillborn baby into the trash, and now police have started an investigation.

Employees at Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home contacted police Saturday after discovering the body was missing from storage, Lodi police said in a statement.

Investigators learned the body had been tossed out by an employee from a contracted transport service, authorities said. The employee threw out a box that held the remains about two weeks prior, police said.

Police on Sunday confirmed the body was thrown into the trash after getting access to surveillance video at the funeral home, Lt. Sean Blanford of the Lodi Police Department said. Investigators plan to interview the contractor, who was not publicly identified.

The body could not be retrieved because all the waste containers from the funeral home had been taken by a collection company, a statement from police read.

Investigators are looking into a number of potential criminal code violations, but Blanford said officers were still working to determine whether criminal charges would be pursued.

Tori Monforte, general manager of the funeral home, said officials could not provide details on the case, including the name of the employee, because of the ongoing investigation.

“We are working closely with the family, law enforcement and others involved to investigate the incident and resolve the issue quickly,” she said in an email.

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