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Co-Owner of Mortuary Under Investigation Turns Himself into Deputies

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Fort Worth –The co-owner of a Fort Worth mortuary at the center of an investigation, turned himself into Tarrant County Deputies early Saturday morning. The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office confirmed 39-year-old Dondre Johnson performed what is called a “walk through,” where Johnson essentially confirmed his warrants for arrest with deputies, was booked, and then bonded out of jail.

Johnson, and his wife, 35-year-old Rachel, are both charged with seven counts of abusing a corpse, a class A misdemeanor. Fort Worth police arrested Rachel Johnson on Friday. Investigators say the couple left decomposing bodies inside their facility. The bodies were intended for internment or cremation.

“She was the life of the party,” Shynika Whitney said of her aunt. “She would make you light up, just a lovable person.”

Deborah Whitney passed away on Mother’s Day, after a three-year battle with breast cancer. Deborah was 48-years-old.

“She still came out, she still did things until she couldn’t just do it anymore, until she couldn’t walk,” Shynika said.

The Whitney family made funeral arrangements at the Johnson Family Mortuary; the same funeral home under investigation.

“What they wanted was cash,” Shynika recalled. “They didn’t offer credit or debit.”

Shynika’s aunt was among the bodies found at the mortuary.

“She wanted to be cremated,” Shynika said. “It was just crazy to me that nobody had called to say ‘here are the ashes.’ When I did call, I got the run-around. ‘Well, nobody’s here right now, the furnace is broken,’” Shynika said of her two-month battle for answers with the owners.

Deborah’s body will now be cremated by another funeral home, Emerald Hills, free of charge. But that hasn’t healed the pain of what the family has been through.

“To know that she is just sitting there decomposing, it’s hurtful,” Shynika said. “It’s like we closed the book and its like opening it, we have to read a new chapter all over again.”