CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — A North Carolina family who went to say their final goodbyes to their loved one say they found a stranger in the casket instead.
Catherine B. White, 75, died June 26 after battling cancer. Her son, an emergency room physician, took care of her in the last four months of her life.
“She died in my home. I knew what she looked like the minute she left my home at 1:11 a.m. on June the 26th this year,” said her son Jerry Bowman.
Bowman said they went to Alexander Funeral Home in Charlotte for a memorial service for his mother, but found another woman dressed in her clothes and jewelry.
“She doesn’t deserve this. Nobody deserves anything like this,” he said. “It’s surreal. This feels like a nightmare. How do you embalm and bury the wrong body?”
“So, a strange woman that is not our mother is wearing clothes that my niece bought for our mother to be buried in,” he added.
According to Bowman, the owner of the funeral home said White had already been buried in another cemetery, and now her family is considering exhumation.
“They have to exhume her body, but it has to be with the permission of the other family,” Bowman said. “I don’t know why they didn’t notice, but God bless their soul, somebody in the Charlotte area buried the wrong family member.”
A funeral home employee said only that the business wasn’t speaking to the media: “They’re not speaking, so they have no statement.” However, police did fill out a report Monday.
Bowman and his relatives don’t know who the other woman was, but they’re hoping to get in contact with the family. They were also contacting attorneys.
In the meantime, they say they want their loved one to have a proper burial.
“She’s one of the sweetest, nicest people you could ever meet,” Bowman said of his mother.