Funeral home director charged with theft after decomposing bodies were found

Randy Lankford, the director of a funeral home in southern Indiana, confessed on Friday to over 40 charges of felony theft. The acknowledgment came after an appalling revelation at the Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center in Jeffersonville where authorities discovered 31 decomposing bodies and the cremated remains of 17 individuals.

Clark County Circuit Court Judge N. Lisa Glickfield outlined a proposed sentence of 12 years for Lankford: four to be spent in prison and the remaining eight under home confinement. The charges stem from Lankford’s failure to carry out paid funeral services, which means he also must compensate 53 families to a sum of $46,000.

The court granted Lankford home incarceration immediately following the hearing, with the official sentencing scheduled for June 23.

The Jeffersonville Police launched an investigation into the funeral home in early July of the previous year when the county coroner’s office detected a strong odor from the building. They found unrefrigerated bodies in various stages of decay, some of which had been at the funeral home since March.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull acknowledged that the multitude of charges against Lankford, coupled with court delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, presented challenges to the process. However, he expressed confidence that reducing approximately half the charges would expedite relief for those involved.