TOLEDO, Ohio (WANE/WJW) — The man who authorities said posed as a funeral director and stored bodies and cremated remains has been found guilty of more than 30 charges.
Shawnte Hardin was arrested in January after police searched a vacant church in Akron, Ohio, as part of an ongoing investigation and found more than 80 cremated human remains.
The remains were believed to mostly be adults, but some may have been children. They are thought to have been stored there for several years.
The discovery came after Ohio investigators first found two bodies in a building he was using for makeshift funeral services in Sept. 2021.
Hardin was indicted on charges stemming from funeral services done without a license. Authorities said he held funerals in Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin counties through businesses including Hussain Funeral Directors, Celebration of Life Memorial Chapels, Hardin Funeral Home, Inc., American Mortuary Services and Transportation, and Shawnte Davon Hardin Services, LLC.
Hardin was found guilty of:
- One count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (F1)
- Three counts of tampering with records (F3)
- Two counts of telecommunications fraud (F5)
- One count of operating an unlicensed funeral home (unclassified misdemeanor)
- One count of possessing criminal tools (F5)
- Six counts of abuse of a corpse (F5)
- Eight counts of representation of a funeral director while unlicensed (unclassified misdemeanor)
- Four counts of passing bad checks (F5)
- Two counts of theft (F4 and F5)
- Three counts of failure to file taxes (F5)
Hardin will be sentenced on Friday, Aug. 26.