On Your Side Alert: Funeral home admits to cremation mix up - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

On Your Side Alert: Funeral home admits to cremation mix up


12 On Your Side is still working to get to the bottom of a cremation mix up that has a Petersburg mother heartbroken.

Bennett Funeral Home admitted it screwed up while handling the cremated remains of loved ones, belonging to two families.

The State Board of Funeral Directors will not talk publicly about the misidentification, but issued a statement offering sympathy for the families and expressing how distressing it must be for both.

The statement also says  the state has strict regulations and laws in place to address proper procedures for cremation to avoid gross errors which include identification of the deceased and proper handling.

Quia Henderson filed a formal complaint after talking with NBC12, but says she contacted the board and other agencies before the interview.

"They said they couldn't help me," Henderson said. "I said ok and you called me back and you said Ms. Henderson was your matter handled? And I said no. I thank God for you. Yes Maam."

The problem is in the numbers. The certificate of cremation number 287 doesn't match the remains which are marked 286. Quia Henderson says Bennett Funeral Home admitted to her, cremated remains got mixed up and given to the wrong families.

It still hasn't been said how the numbers got switched or how it happened.

"They're moving so fast, that you can't match up numbers now<" Henderson said. "When else has this happened too?"

The National Funeral Directors Association also provided a statement extending sympathy to the families and hope for a resolution.

NFDA says because cremation is permanent and irreversible, it is imperative that funeral homes maintain strict chain of custody records throughout the entire process. It also provided recommendations for funeral homes that include proper labeling.

The State Board of Funeral Directors says it cannot confirm or deny any investigation, but says complaints are properly investigated by the enforcement division and the board makes a determination.

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