Wrong body displayed at wake in Florida, family claims


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WFLA/CNN) – A family in Florida says they recently dealt with a major mixup at a loved one’s funeral.

Norma Newman’s family gathered at a funeral home in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday to say their final goodbyes. But Newman’s sister made a shocking discovery when she went up to the casket.

“I went up to view her body (and said) ‘No, this is not my sister.’ This is somebody we did not know,” Cuinthia Webber told WSVN. “We did not know the person that was lying in the casket.”

Relatives said they knew there had been a mixup when they saw the face of the person in the casket.

“We asked them about the mole on our aunt’s face. They said that they covered it up with makeup,” Newman’s niece Suzette Walsh said. “There was no mole there, you know? And makeup couldn’t cover it because it was like – kind of protruding out of her face.”

The family told WSVN that, at that point, they didn’t know where their aunt was.

“We don’t know where my aunt’s body is. We don’t know,” her niece Marcia Durrant Aris said. “We came here to mourn the loss of my aunt and this is what we get. And nobody is taking ownership, we don’t know. Many questions – unasnwered questions. That’s not right.”

Roy Mizell & Kurtz Funeral Home acknowledged something was wrong, the family told WSVN. But they still didn’t have answers as of Monday.

“It just went to, honestly, we’re still investigating. Cause they don’t honestly know where she got,” granddaughter Camisha Stewart said. 

The family now just wants closure, saying, “We need to make sure that she is at peace.”

WSVN reports that they spoke with another family who had a funeral for their loved one earlier this month. That family told the news station they have reason to believe the body they buried on March 2 may have been Newman’s.

They said they believe the bodies were swapped. Neither family has gotten answers from funeral home staff, according to WSVN.

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