California mortuary buries wrong person in man’s wife’s casket

By Daniel S Levine,

A California mortuary has had to admit a big screw-up after burying the wrong body at a funeral.

Evan Davidson, 73, said that he was sure that the body in the casket was not his late wife’s.

“I looked at her and said, 'Well this don't look like my wife at all,’” he told KABC. “They kept telling me it was, but it's just because she had been embalmed and she was sick.”

Davidson was married to Darlene Davidson for 51 years. She died of heart failure and they held the funeral on March 1. “We had lots of people there, my friends and her friends,” he said.

“I was already torn apart and then…this. It’s unbelievable,” Davidson’s son, Eric Haynes, told CBS Sacramento.

But, three days later, Simpson Family Mortuary in Inglewood called him, asking him to identify another body after a woman was convinced that the body she was shown wasn’t the one of her late mother. Davidson recognized this body immediately as his wife’s.

“I saw my wife, and the shock just knocked me down,” he said.

According to The Associated Press, the mortuary had to admit the mistake and exhumed both bodies, paying for the process. Davidson’s wife will be reburied tomorrow.

“Our main concern is for these people to receive the dignity and respect they deserve, and put the individual to rest. We are not sweeping it under the rug,” a spokesman for the mortuary said. “We made an error and we want to rectify our error and do whatever we can do to make them feel better.”

The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau will investigate the incident and Davidson has hired an attorney.



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