Sharon Escobar paid a Brooklyn funeral house to are likely to the stays of her father, Elisha Magosha, after he died from issues of Covid-19 in April.
Two weeks later, she realized that his physique had been disintegrating alongside greater than a dozen others inside two U-Haul vehicles parked in entrance of the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Dwelling, a small constructing squeezed between a intercourse store and a greenback retailer.
The discovery in early May, because the pandemic held a agency grip on New York, shocked and angered a traumatized metropolis, and in November, the house’s director, Andrew Cleckley, had his license revoked by the state for improperly dealing with the stays of the deceased.
Odors seeping from the vehicles prompted passers-by to complain to the authorities, in the end resulting in the invention of what was occurring.
Mr. Cleckley stated he was overwhelmed by the deluge of our bodies his house acquired and stated that regardless that he was the principal leaseholder, 5 different funeral companies operated from the constructing, and he couldn’t be accountable for overseeing how all of them handled stays.
Nonetheless, a big a part of his job concerned embalming our bodies for these different companies, elevating questions in regards to the extent of his function.
“All the pieces I did was out of compassion — serving to the opposite funeral houses, embalming their our bodies, selecting up our bodies for them,” he stated.
What unfolded on the Cleckley house was maybe essentially the most excessive episode when the pandemic engulfed the city’s system for dealing with the lifeless — reflecting the tragedy, chaos and total lack of assets within the face of the most important public well being disaster in a century.
“It was the craziest time I’ve ever been alive,” stated John D’Arienzo, president of the Metropolitan Funeral Administrators Affiliation. “After Mr. Cleckley’s actions got here to gentle, the medical expert realized how overwhelmed funeral companies have been.”