by Steven Ertelt
August 31, 2005
McKeesport, PA (LifeNews.com) — More than 300 babies who were either aborted or died via miscarriage were found at the Pittsburgh-area home where a former funeral director once lived. Dozens of women began calling the county coroner’s office after news of the discovery was revealed.
Authorities found the unborn children last week inside cardboard boxes, plastic bags and plastic containers stored in a locked garage at the home of the ex-wife of Robert Winston.
Winston is a the former director of the Newman-Winston Memorial Chapel funeral home, which had a contract with Magee-Womens Hospital from 1999 to 2002 to take care of babies who died from abortions and miscarriages there.
Winston had labeled the boxes and containers with tags and notes such as "medical waste," "fetuses," or "autopsy cases for Winston Funeral Home," according to a KFMB-TV report.
Although he hasn’t yet been charged in the case, officials say they may pursue some violations, including abuse of a corpse.
Renee Brooks, Winston’s ex-wife, reported the discovery of the unborn children to local police after she found them. Together, the couple have owned the home in McKeesport since 1993.
The Allegheny County Coroner’s office told KFMB that it will take weeks to examine the babies and compare them to records from Magee-Womens Hospital, which had contracted with the funeral home to have the babies cremated.
"We would like to have this done as soon as humanly possible because families are out there wondering," Chief Deputy Coroner Joseph Dominick told the television station. However, he said some of the babies may never be identified because of confidentiality laws related to abortion.
Winston’s attorney, James Ecker, said he is cooperating with the investigation.
Winston had his funeral director’s license suspended by the state of Pennsylvania in March 2004 for three years because the funeral home was unlicensed. He also failed to notify state officials about his selling prearranged funeral plans.