Man contracted by morgue accused of breaking into home of deceased

1 dead, 1 critical after double shooting in Detroit; police looking for suspect
Posted at 2:17 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 14:52:53-05

HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — A man working for a company contracted by the Wayne County morgue is accused of breaking into a home of a deceased person he reportedly helped transport the day prior.

The Huron Township Department of Public Safety said they responded to a breaking and entering call on February 15 around 9:32 a.m. at a home in the 22000 block of Castelle Drive.

Police said the caller gave a description of the suspect vehicle and suspects after they allegedly left the house with items from inside. 

The suspect vehicle was located and two suspects were taken into custody. Police say one of the suspects, Carnell Lamont Franklin-Smith, had a loaded handgun on him and in the car, police say, were the alleged stolen items.

An investigation, police say, led them to believe Franklin-Smith had visited the residence the day before as part of his employment, working for a company contracted by the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office to help remove bodies and transport them to the morgue.

Police say photographs taken on February 14 show items that were allegedly found inside the suspect vehicle.

“It is believed that Franklin-Smith used his position of employment to victimize the families of the deceased. With intimate knowledge that a resident was deceased as well as knowing if other family members lived at a particular residence, I believe there are many other victims out there. He told investigators that he operated a business he called ‘No Evidence’ that allowed him to return to scenes he previously worked for clean-up. I believe that was used as an opportunity to commit crimes like this one. We are asking anyone that may have had a family members residence broken into following their death to notify the police agency where they live,” said Everette Robbins, Huron Township Director of Public Safety, in a press release.

Franklin-Smith, 34, and Benjamin Ulysses Pearce, 29, are facing home invasion charges. Franklin-Smith is also facing a felony firearm charge.

The suspects were arraigned on February 17th and were released on a $10,000 personal bond.