CHICAGO (CBS) — An Oak Park woman has sued a West Side funeral home, for allegedly giving her niece’s ashes to a total stranger.
Vera Brown had raised her niece, LaShaira Boyd, since Boyd’s own mother died. When Boyd died last spring at age 29, Brown wanted the body cremated, but a month after the funeral, she got some unsettling news from Fountain Jordan Shepard Funeral Home.
“When she came to pick up the ashes, she found they were given to some unknown person; I mean, no relatives, no friends, a name they’ve never heard,” said Brown’s attorney, Fred Benjamin.
Benjamin said the funeral home told him an employee mistakenly turned over Boyd’s ashes to a woman who showed up there, but it’s unclear if that woman had asked for Boyd’s cremains, or someone else’s.
“The funeral parlor said that somebody from the back room came out and just gave them to her, and it was probably a mistake, but they’ve been trying to track it down now for a few weeks, and they can’t find the ashes,” he said.