When her granddaughter died three years ago, April Hopkins asked Joseph V. O’Donnell, a funeral home director in Dorchester, to cremate the baby’s remains. Hopkins contacted him again the next year, when her son and mother died just a few months apart.
On Friday, Hopkins came from her home in Randolph to Dorchester Municipal Court, alarmed by news reports that investigators had discovered 12 bodies and dozens of cremated remains in two storage facilities O’Donnell had rented.
“I’m devastated,” she said. “I put a lot of trust in the man. Now I don’t know if the remains I have are the right ones. Is one of those bodies my mother? Is one of those bodies my son?”
Authorities made the grisly discoveries this week as part of an investigation into O’Donnell, 55, who is in custody for allegedly stealing $12,000 in funeral expenses from an elderly Quincy couple.
On Wednesday, investigators found more than 40 sets of cremated remains in a storage facility in Somerville, and on Thursday, they recovered a dozen adult bodies from a similar unit in Weymouth.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week