Scene Kleen owner makes living cleaning crime scenes

By Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Published On: May 04 2014 11:15:00 PM EDT
Updated On: May 04 2014 11:15:00 PM EDT

Local 10's Roger Lohse profiles the owner of a company that cleans the crime scenes of South Florida's bloodiest messes.

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -

Shootings, stabbings, robberies and car crashes: You often hear the details of the violent or tragic incidents that make the news, but do you ever consider who cleans up the mess left behind?

Well, Local 10 found him. His name is Michael Clementi and he's the owner of a company called Scene Kleen, a state-licensed biomedical waste generator and transporter.

"This is where the deceased laid for a couple days,"  Clementi said as he documented a recent crime scene with his video camera. "There's body fluids. The odor is just real bad."

His job is to clean up the bloody mess and remove the tragic reminders for loved ones of the victims left behind.

"From murders, homicides, suicides, unattended deaths -- that seems to be the most -- unattended deaths," Clementi told Local 10.

Since 1996, he's been cleaning up after killers, but for this recently retired firefighter, one could say dealing with the dead is in his blood.

"Well, when you work in the fire department you get a chance to see all the death and destruction out there and you start to wonder, 'Who cleans this up?'" he said. "The police don't clean it up. The fire department doesn't clean it up."

The tools of his trade include protective Tyvex suits, mops, buckets, disinfectants and plenty of fans.

"Oh, the odor -- the odor is terrible; nothing you've smelled before," he said.

When he's not decontaminating, Clementi spends his days picking up biomedical waste from local doctors and dentists office. He recently found a new niche in Broward County, where the county no longer picks up dead animals. City officials rely on Scene Kleen to keep their roads clear of carcasses.

Once a week, a biohazardous disposal company hauls away big red bags and containers from a storage shed that's filled with the byproducts of his work.   

"It smells in here right now because there's some bad, um, I had some decomposed body clean ups that I did this week," he explained.

For his service, Clementi really cleans up. He charges $350 an hour. The cost is usually paid by insurance companies, but he's been known to help out those money-troubled families who are suddenly faced with tragedy.

"Sometimes I just eat it just to get the job done," he said.

For nearly two decades, Scene Kleen has helped close the book on some of the most gruesome cases. And if the news headlines are any indication, the future of this South Florida company looks grim.

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