PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA) -- Mobile County deputies raided two more locations Tuesday as investigators continue to look into disturbing claims surrounding a funeral home.

Officials served search warrants at Heritage Funeral Home on Broad Street in Mobile and at Cederick McMillian’s home on Porters Avenue in Prichard. Tuesday's searches follow a raid on Friday at New Ship Ministries Church on Wilson Avenue.

Deputies said they are investigating claims from residents that caskets were dug up and reused by Heritage Funeral Home which is owned by McMillan.

Detectives said New Ship Ministries was raided because its Pastor, Joseph Bonner, owns the building Heritage Funeral Home uses. The sheriff's office also said that Bonner is renting New Ship Ministries Church for his ministry, but his contract states that it is not to be used a funeral home. Investigators said they found empty coffins and a foul odor coming from inside the church when they raided it Friday.

"Once the deputies made entrance they discovered coffins, some appeared like scratches and dents but they were one or two that appeared that they have been used in the past...that was just appearance," said Captain Paul Burch with MCSO.

The casket that was the object of the raid still sits in Bonner's church. There is hay under the lining of it and specs of dirt on the inside that Bonner said deputies mistook for dirt from a grave. He claims that casket has been used, but only as a display and a prop.

"That particular casket has been a casket that has been with the funeral home for 15 years since I've been open. Vigor has used that casket, the strikers have used it," Bonner explained.

Investigators said they are looking into Bonner's relationship with McMillan.

McMillian is currently wanted by the Mobile County Sheriff's Office on three felony warrants sex offender registration violations.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.