The Business of Cleaning Up Crime Scenes is Booming

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Companies that specialize in cleaning up crime scenes say their business is booming, the Chicago Tribune reports. In starting Bio-One Chicago last year, Bill Muir and his wife, Dawn, joined a profession “that blends the demeanors of a funeral home director and grief counselor with a construction contractor who has a strong stomach and intimate knowledge of biohazard disposal.” It is a largely unregulated profession experiencing steady growth, fueled by increasing fear of contamination and disease. “It’s a hard thing to do,” said DuPage County Coroner Dr. Richard Jorgensen, who uses Aurora-based Aftermath Services LLC to clean the county morgue. “It’s something that’s little-understood.”

Bio-One, Aftermath and other local companies are called to homicides, suicides, unattended deaths and the homes of hoarders. Sometimes, they are asked to clean the interior of cars and trucks where a trauma has occurred, or they are called to clear a meth lab. “When people ask me what I do, they say, ‘wow,’ and then they get really interested,” said Dan Reynolds, a fire department lieutenant who started Chicago Crime Scene Cleanup in 2007 with his wife, Kelly, to supplement his income. “But I don’t think they understand what all goes into it. They don’t understand the emotional side of it.” Potential clients are enduring the worst time of their lives, cleaners say. “Nobody calls me on a good day,” Reynolds said. “Trying to understand what they’re going through is a big part of it.”

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