Man and woman arrested after 34 bodies removed from funeral parlour in police raid

Two people have been arrested in connection with the investigation into a funeral director in northern England.

A man, 46, and a woman, 23, have been arrested on suspicion of prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position, Humberside Police have said.

They said 34 bodies have been "respectfully transported" from one of Legacy Independent Funeral Directors' three branches to a mortuary in Hull for formal identification procedures to take place after concerns were raised about "storage and management processes relating to care of the deceased".

The two people arrested remain in police custody.

Cordons are still in place at all three of Legacy's branches - two in Hull and one in Beverley. The bodies, which are undergoing identification, were removed from their Hessle Road premises.

Police raided the three locations after concerns were reported on Wednesday.

On Friday, they opened a dedicated phone line for concerned members of the public - which has since received more than 350 calls.

Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin said: "Each call we receive is being carefully handled and delicately assessed by a specialist team to ensure we have a thorough understanding of each family's circumstances.

"We will get back to each and every one of you as soon as we can."

Staff and officers are working "around the clock to deal with the unprecedented inquiries," he added. "Families affected continue to be supported by family liaison officers at what we appreciate is an extremely distressing time for all involved."

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Acknowledging the timing of the arrests, Mr McLoughlin said: "On behalf of all of our police officers and staff, particularly today, on Mother's Day, our thoughts remain with all families that have been affected because of this incident."

Updates will be released as soon as possible, he added, "but cannot jeopardise the ongoing investigation in any way".

"May I take this opportunity to remind the public to show the utmost respect and privacy for any bereaved families and their loved ones within our community," he said.

Legacy Independent Funeral Directors is a family-run business established in 2010, according to its website. It has yet to comment publicly.