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Cremated Human, Pet Remains Found In Defunct Funeral Home

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The remains of five dogs were found in a coffin.  (Credit: KDKA)

The remains of five dogs were found in a coffin. (Credit: KDKA)

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HAZELWOOD (KDKA) — Pittsburgh police and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office searched a former funeral home and recovered a dozen containers of what appeared to be cremated remains.

Pittsburgh police’s homicide squad, the SWAT team and the ME’s office executed a search warrant on the Sauvageot Funeral Home in Hazelwood Friday morning.

The owner, Mark Sauvageot, lost his license in 2009 after an incident where he stowed a woman’s body in his garage. He closed his business and left the area.

Friday, police found containers marked with names and dates.

“When you cremate someone they’re put in a standard container, they’re identified with a label, they’re identified in a box,” Allegheny County Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams said. “Twelve of them appeared to be in that category – that’s what you’d expect from a standard cremation.”

“There’s only one other bag that has something in it and I at this point don’t know exactly what that is,” he added.

Crews also found the decomposed bodies of five dogs in coffins. Some may have been there 10 years. They were hauled to a landfill.

The ME says it’s hard to comprehend.

“Unusual doesn’t really cover it,” Dr. Williams said. “Exceptional would be a better description. No, I mean, this is completely beyond what any practice should be obviously.”

Beryl Powers says her sister’s remains were found. She died five years ago.

“It’s closure,” she said. “Just like if you have a person killed overseas in the military. As soon as the body’s home, people have closure and that’s what we needed.”

Police are now investigating whether any charges will be brought against Sauvageot.

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