Vincent Bright, 48, was charged with disinterment of a dead body by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Police said Bright visited Detroit's Gethsemane Cemetery Monday and took the body of his father, Clarence Street, 93, from inside a casket in a mausoleum, with plans to resurrect it.
Street's body was to be buried Sunday, the day after his funeral, but wet weather delayed the interment, the news website MLive reported.
Tuesday the empty casket was found inside a van parked at a gas station, and Street's body was discovered a mile away at Bright's home, in a barricaded basement freezer, WXYZ-TV, Detroit, said.
Police said Bright told them he wanted to keep his father's remains in the hope God would resurrect the dead man.
A second man, whose identity was not released, was taken into custody with Bright but not charged, prosecutor's office spokeswoman Maria Miller said.