Woman describes horrifying experience with Swanson Funeral Home - WNEM TV 5

Woman describes horrifying experience with Swanson Funeral Home

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Allegations against a local funeral home of deplorable conditions and bodies left decaying in a garage are shocking enough.

For the families in the middle of the funeral process when Swanson Funeral Home in Flint was shut down, it's more like a nightmare.

One local family was set to hold visitation for their mother on Wednesday last week, the day before the state shut Swanson down.

"Again, you're grieving for a loss and then this and you can only imagine what else," said Dawn Lazo.

Losing her mom Dora is one of the hardest things Lazo said she has had to go through. To make matters worse, the day before the funeral she got a call from the state saying Swanson was shut down with her mom still inside.

"I didn't know. I had no idea where she was, where she was going, nothing. I had no clue. Not to mention the money that I had already given him. What now," Lazo said.

Lazo said she gave the funeral home thousands of dollars.

She described some off behavior by the owner, O'Neil Swanson Jr., days before the state stepped in.

"Yeah, the last couple of days with him. The day before all of this happened he was just a mess," Lazo said.

Looking back, she said a couple things just didn't seem right - such as the smell when she entered the doors.

"As soon as you open the front doors I got hit with this awful smell. The floors were dirty, then I started crying. I can't even afford to put her in a decent place. That broke my heart," Lazo said.

Lazo's mom didn't have life insurance and died unexpectedly.

Luckily for Lazo's family, Swartz Funeral Home in Flint took over and gave her mother the funeral she deserved.

"I just hope he gets what he deserves. I hope they never open up again. There is a lot of families out there that are hurting," Lazo said.

Repeated visits and calls to Swanson Funeral Home have gone un-returned. The violations that forced the state to shut it down included maggots on the floor, unrefrigerated bodies in the garage and the smell of decomposing bodies.

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