Steve Monetti, a former bidder on A&E’s reality series “Storage Wars,” discovered 31 urns and containers with cremated human remains at a Feb. 10 auction at Harlem Self-Storage in New York City. The unit was one of 20 auctioned at the facility at 11 W. 141st St. Packed inside cabinets and cardboard boxes, the containers included polished brass urns and metal boxes, each with the name of the deceased and the date of cremation.
Monetti, who lives in North Bergen, N.J., told the source he had “an aura” and felt compelled to bid on the unit, which he ultimately won for $550. The tenant, Eudora Street, rented the unit to store property from her deceased uncle’s funeral home, M. Marshall Blake Funeral Parlor in Hamilton Heights, N.Y. The uncle, Warren M. Blake had operated the funeral home with his wife Marguerite Marshall. Blake, who died in 2007 at 83, was also a former New York police detective. In a strange twist, the funeral home was also once owned by James Anthony Bailey from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Self-storage manager Reginald Dawson said Street had regularly paid the $259 monthly rental, but recently fell behind.
Monetti told the source the discovery was “the scariest abnormal feeling.” After determining no crime had been committed, the police department released the remains into Monetti’s custody. They were then sent to another funeral home in Harlem, which will attempt to locate family members to accept them.