As the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office released the identities of the four bodies and cremains found in a Riverdale garage, families across Chicago struggle to understand why a man claiming to be a licensed funeral director had been storing bodies and organs in his garage.
“I get a knock on the door and it’s the sheriffs and they ask me if there’s anyone here with the last name of Godfrey and I said sure my daughter’s last name is Godfrey,” said Simone Walker.
The Chicago resident was not prepared for what came next.
“He dropped the bomb on me and told me we did fingerprints on one of the bodies and one of the bodies found in the garage was Bridgette Godfrey’s body.
“It really, like, really makes me sick to my stomach,” said Mario Godfrey.
Mario Godfrey and his girlfriend Simone Walker were notified Thursday night that the remains of his mother, Bridgette Godfrey, were one of four bodies, as well as cremains and organs discovered in the garage of a Riverdale home. And if that’s not bad enough, the man hired to cremate Brigitte Godfrey more than two years ago just happens to be Mario’s cousin.
“I have no idea what time of human being would do something this devastating,” said Mario Godfrey.” I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the different things my mom’s body has been exposed to over a two year period of time in the garage.”
It turns out Anton Godfrey, the owner of Living Waters Funeral Services, was not a licensed funeral director. But that didn’t stop him from handling dozens of cremations and funerals. In fact, the state tried to shut him down several times. And now families across Chicago who hired Godfrey are left wondering if their loved ones were mishandled.
“I had no idea what this guy has done to my father or if he– I don’t know,” said Pompey Hicks III. “I don’t want to know. “
Pompey Hicks III hired Godfrey to cremate his father more than four years ago. He still has not received his father’s remains.
“He’s always told me, ‘I have him; he’s here with me, he’s fine.’ I’m like: ‘can you give him to me if you have him?’" Hicks said.
Meanwhile, Walker said she was left wondering who they actually buried.
“We’re still trying to figure out whose ashes were brought to the funeral,” Walker said.