Cremated Remains Found In Abandoned Funeral Home ID'd

PITTSBURGH,None — The Medical Examiner's Officer has identified several sets of cremated remains found last week at an abandoned funeral home in Hazelwood.

Investigators executed a search warrant on the former Sauvageot funeral home on Friday and found three caskets in the basement and garage. Police said one casket contained the remains of two dogs and the other two caskets each contained the remains of one dog.

On the first floor of the building, investigators said they located eight receptacles each containing some type of remains.

Police said they found five more receptacles on the second floor of the building, again containing remains

Investigators said multiple human and dog cremation remains were found throughout the business.

Medical Examiner Identifies Remains:

Alexander "Bird" Biro: Died on 02/01/1997. Cremated on 02/03/1997. Anna E. Bucholtz: Unknown information. Alma Burgert: Unknown information. Florence B. Crawford: Unknown information. Elsie M. Doefel-Flamm: Died on 12/02/1996. Cremated on 12/04/1996. Danny Ray Grumbles: Died on 09/06/1992. Cremated on 09/08/1992. William Harrington: Unknown information. Grace McQueen: Died on 08/01/2000. Cremated on 09/08/2000. Alexander Monsieur: Unknown information. Anita M. Murrell: Unknown information. Jeanette B. O'Brien: Died on 09/27/1989. Cremated on 09/30/1989. Leo J. O'Brien: Died on 12/24/1982. Cremated on 12/27/1982. Joyce A. Ratti: Unknown information. Allen G. Saunder: Died on 03/25/1989. Cremated on 03/26/1989. Martha HarrisScippio: Died on 10/29/1996. Cremated on 1/04/1996. Arnold T. Smith: Died on 08/17/2001. Cremated on 08/18/2001. Mary Ellen Stone: Died on 04/23/2003. No information on cremation date. Margaret E. Welker: Unknown information

Mark Sauvageot, who once owned the home, is accused of storing a woman's body in the garage. He had his funeral director's license revoked after he failed to bury a woman's body, Channel 11's Alan Jennings reported.

According to records Jennings obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State, Sauvageot kept the body of Helen Miller in a casket inside of the garage at the funeral home he ran.

After Sauvageot lost his license, officials said he left town.

John Bauer, who runs another funeral home in Hazelwood, said he has received several calls from desperate family members looking for help.

"We had families come looking for their mothers', their brothers', their sisters' remains that he had handled," Bauer said.

Bauer said Sauvageot also ran a pet memorial service, and several pet owners never had the remains returned to them.

"We were like the ones who had to give them the bad news that Mark was no longer in town. They were more than emotional," Bauer said.

Channel 11 News viewers have also contacted Jennings and said that Sauvageot never returned loved ones' ashes or the remains of pets they sent to him.

Beryl Powers said the remains of her half-sister were taken to Sauvageot's funeral home and have been missing for five years. Powers said despite repeated requests to find them, the remains of Joyce Ann Ratti were never found or returned.

One of the boxes discovered during Friday's search contained the remains of Ratti. Her son said they have been there for five years.

"At first I thought, 'Why are they digging this up? She might not even be in there, and then it's going to be even worse.' I was upset. But I am happy [now] that we can lay her to rest and everybody can have some closure," said Ratti's son Jeff Jennings.

The investigation has been turned over to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office. Investigators are still trying to track down Sauvageot.

Email Newsletter: Get The Latest News Sent To Your Email! Mobile: Get WPXI Headlines On Your Phone, iPhone, More RSS: Add Us To Your Page!

Comments on this article