Local Mortician to Serve Time in Prison
Mortician Janet Powell-Dailey of Powell Mortuary Services in Strawberry Mansion was sentenced to three months in prison followed by 20 months of house arrest on charges including theft by deception, theft of movable property and abuse of a corpse (to which she pled no contest). She will then be on probation for five years following house arrest.
In August 2015, Powell-Dailey’s neighbors on the 2600 block of West Hagert Street called the police after a foul odor led them to discover three decaying corpses in her garage. According to Powell-Dailey, however, the corpses were in her garage for no more than six hours. Two of the bodies were cremated, and the third was ready for burial. They were in her garage, she claimed, for the sake of convenience.
Powell-Dailey was facing criminal charges by January 2016. The State Board of Funeral Directors revoked her and her funeral home’s licenses. It imposed $300,000 in civil penalties on her and the funeral home. Additionally, Assistant District Attorney Shuaib Newton has ordered Powell-Dailey to pay $3,500 to two families who received inadequate service. Common Pleas Court Judge Susan I. Schulman has prohibited her from ever working for any kind of mortuary business or service again.
Powell Mortuary Services had been operating on an expired license for more than three years. It kept insufficient records and improperly handled and preserved the bodies being stored in the funeral home.
Mortician Blair Hawkins of Hawkins Funeral Services in West Philadelphia was also arrested in 2015 because her business was unlicensed. She is awaiting trial now. •