ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) — An Elgin funeral home is being sued for having a woman’s body cremated without authorization from her husband.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, last winter, Timothy Cahill was unable to reach his wife, Helen, for more than a week. The over-the-road trucker, who had been working in Iowa, returned home on his wife’s 65th birthday on Dec. 1 of last year to surprise her, the Elgin Courier-News reported.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

But when Cahill returned home, their mobile home had been cleaned out, and his wife was nowhere to be found, the newspaper reported.

Cahill checked with Sherman Hospital in Elgin to find out if she had been admitted, then returned to Iowa, the Courier-News reported. He eventually went back to Iowa and found his wife’s obituary, which said she had been killed Nov. 22 when she was hit by a pickup truck while crossing a busy street, according to the newspaper.

He says he contacted Laird Funeral Home in Elgin, and was told he would need to come in and sign some papers. He said the funeral home would not let him see her body, because she already had been cremated, the newspaper reported.

Cahill says the cremation was conducted without his authorization at the request of Helen Cahill’s children from another marriage, and that her wishes were to be buried with her mother in Nashville, the Courier-News reported.

Timothy Cahill is now suing for $50,000 in damages, on claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, the Courier-News reported.

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