by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
ANSON COUNTY, N.C. - Authorities searched a 30-acre plot of land in Lilesville that belongs to the family of former funeral director Mary McLendon.
After digging for about an hour and half crews ended the search around 4:30 p.m. for the day.
Thirty acres of brushy, wooded land in rural Anson County is now the site of a criminal investigation.
VIEW IMAGES of the search here
“It’s very different than anything we’ve done in the past, I can tell you that,” said Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen.
Armed with a search warrant, police, sheriff’s deputies and SBI agents used the help of cadaver dogs to search the tract of land belonging to the family of McLendon.
On Wednesday, while undergoing sentencing in court, authorities said McLendon confessed to hiding Marshall Allen's body in her former funeral home.
Investigators said a search there led to the discovery of Allen's remains and another body, which hasn't yet been identified.
“I was actually surprised about it, it kind of shocked me a little,” said neighbor Betty Ratliff.
The line of police cars along Clemmons Road brought neighbors out to watch the latest search.
Ratliff said her husband has hired McLendon in the past.
“She had buried his grandmother, but he didn't ever have no problem with her,” Ratliff said.
Investigators said the cadaver dogs hit on multiple locations, where they began excavating.
Whatever they find, the sheriff said it was their duty to investigate
“We felt like to make sure we covered all the bases we should at least come out and check out this property,” Allen said.
The property also contains a 4-acre pond, which adds a level of complication to the investigation.
Authorities said they plan to work throughout the night.
McLendon's history of violations
Channel 9 has learned McLendon has lengthy history of violations dating back to 2006.
According to the North Carolina Board of Funeral Services, those violations include changing dates on death certificates, using funeral funds for her own use, and failing to refund clients.
In 2010, deputies found three dead bodies inside the funeral home that weren't properly disposed of.
The board eventually revoked McLendon's license in 2012.
Channel 9 asked the executive director why the board waited six years to revoke her license.
We are still waiting to hear back.
To read the entire document, click here.
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