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Owner of shuttered California funeral home accused of letting 11 bodies rot

The bodies of the 11 people, including infants, were left "in various stages of decay and mummification," prosecutors say.

A California mortician allegedly let the bodies of 11 people, including infants, rot at a now-shuttered funeral home, officials in Los Angeles said Friday.

Mark Allen, owner of a funeral home in San Fernando Valley, was charged with 22 misdemeanor counts of failing to properly bury human remains, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office said in a statement.

According to the statement, un-buried, non-cremated remains "were found in various stages of decay and mummification" twice over the last year.

Investigators with state and local agencies found the remains at Mark B. Allen Mortuary and Cremations Services, Inc. after relatives complained, a city attorney spokesman said.

The closed Mark B. Allen Mortuary and Cremations Services business in Sun Valley, Calif., accused of leaving 11 decomposing bodies inside.
The closed Mark B. Allen Mortuary and Cremations Services business in Sun Valley, Calif., accused of leaving 11 decomposing bodies inside.Google Maps

According to a petition filed by the state Cemetery and Funeral Bureau that sought to suspend Allen’s license, the bodies were found last April in a non-permitted cold storage unit that an agency worker had found to be roughly 60 degrees during a pervious visit.

Outside the funeral home, flies were seen buzzing around an exhaust vent for the storage unit and officials observed the "foul and overwhelmingly strong" smell "of decomposition," the petition says.

Allen's license was revoked on Sept. 28, 2021, according to the agency.

"Eleven people died, including very young children, and the funeral director hired to compassionately prepare the bodies for burial allegedly just let them rot, with neither the decency nor the dignity that all our loved ones deserve," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement.

"Their deaths are one tragedy, and this alleged monstrous mistreatment is a second tragedy,” he said.

Allen did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. It wasn't immediately clear if he has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

He faces up to 11 years in jail and a maximum penalty of $110,000.