Funeral Home Loses Woman's Body, Finds Out Another Family Already Buried It
An Illinois funeral home apparently buried a deceased woman a day early, which made for an incredibly sad and awkward situation when her family showed up Friday to view the body and found the wrong woman stretched out in the open casket.
Monique Williams told CBS Chicago that the staff of Leak and Sons showed her a body that looked nothing like her mother, Ella Mae Rutledge. When she checked under the wig to make sure, she saw black hair instead of her mother’s gray.
Williams says Leak and Sons showed her three more bodies, even putting her mom’s dress on one of them, as they searched for Rutledge’s remains. By 10 p.m. Friday—with the funeral scheduled for the next day—they still didn’t have the physical remains.
What they had was a photo of a body that had been buried earlier that day by another family, and could be her mother’s. The body has been exhumed, but after everything that’s happened, Williams told the Sun-Times she wants tests to confirm it’s her mom’s.
“They 100 percent identified the person that they buried, on yesterday, as their mother. I said, ‘You all done lost my mother,’” Williams said.
Without a body, Williams converted the Saturday funeral into a memorial service, and says she considers her mother buried. She plans to bury the “shell” at a later date.
“Out of respect for both families, we have no comment at this time,” Leak and Sons told CBS, “We plan to have the situation rectified in the coming days.”