Family members in New York City had gathered Sunday to view the body of Maria Castro, 80. But the woman wasn’t there, ABC 7 said.
When a casket was finally brought in about three hours later, the news station said, they recognized Castro’s clothes — on someone else’s body.
At around 8:30 p.m., a half hour before the wake was supposed to end, RG Ortiz Funeral Home delivered Castro’s body, ABC 7 said. The family says they paid more than $7,000 for the service.
That’s just one of many complaints recently lodged against the Bronx funeral home, according to reports.
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Alfrida Rodriguez hired the funeral home to cremate the remains of her sister, Luz Maria Sanchez, who died suddenly in September, according to a lawsuit filed against the business in January. Funeral director Sandra Tufino picked up the body from the medical examiner’s office, the suit said.
“I paid for the service. They told me seven to 10 days, she would be ready after that and we would proceed and do a mass,” Rodriguez told the New York Post, which first reported on the lawsuit. “I waited 15 days. Nothing happened,” she said. The newspaper reported she paid $600 to $700.
Rodriguez and her brothers kept reaching out to the funeral home to find out what was going on, the suit said. Rodriguez’s family now says the funeral home lost the woman’s remains and still hasn’t found them.
“It’s January, she died in September,” Rodriguez’s lawyer, Jesse Minc, told the Post. “There’s no reasonable explanation for this,” he said, adding, “How do you lose a body?”
The lawsuit says the family continues to suffer over not getting to bury their sister.
The family of Rafael Garcia told ABC 7 they paid $10,000 for his wake, and he arrived several hours late and in someone else’s clothes.
"If you loved your loved one, do not bring them here. This is inhumane," says Awilda Torres, the news station reported.
Relatives of Jeremy Rodriguez told ABC 7 they paid $11,000 for his service, and found someone else’s body from the night before in the chapel when they arrived. The family says that when Rodriguez’s body finally arrived, they had to wheel him in and wheel out the other casket themselves because there was no staff around, the news station reported.
RG Ortiz Funeral Home hasn’t responded to media requests for comment. A website couldn’t be found for the business.