Family finds another man in loved one's casket - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family finds another man in loved one's casket

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(NBC) -

A family wants answers after a mix-up at a Chattanooga funeral home. The family gathered to say their final goodbyes to a loved one, only to find another man in his casket. 

Willie Brown and his brother Dominique say they were first to notice something wasn't right when friends and family gathered for the visitation Wednesday afternoon. 

"I said, 'this ain't my uncle,' so, everybody around was like, 'that's your uncle, that's your uncle, it's just the makeup' and I'm just saying I know my uncle and this is not my uncle," said Willie Brown, family member. 

Willie says his uncle was a double amputee. The man placed in his uncle's casket was not. 

"The man was like, 'well let's open the bottom of the casket' so the funeral director opened the bottom of the casket and when he opened the bottom of the casket he was like (gasp) and he slammed the casket and said, 'y'all get out,'" said Willie. 

Willie says his family was told to leave so the funeral home staff could look for his uncle's body. He says the body was located at the morgue, and transported to the funeral home 30 minutes later. 

"The suit we bought my uncle to get buried in, they had to put in on the other guy. So, we had to wait for them to take the clothes off this dead man and put it on my uncle so my uncle could get buried in his own clothes," said Willie. 

"They've been saying it's their mistake," said Dominique Brown, family member. "They're still apologizing. They don't know what to do right now."

The funeral home sent a statement saying in part: "We are sorry that this problem has been more public during their time of grief. We have been in communication with the members of the family, and we are committed to resolve any issue they may have." 

As the family prepares to lay their loved on to rest, they say they want an explanation and assurance no other family has to go through this.

"What if we would have had a closed casket, we could have sent this man to the grave," said Willie. "We could've buried someone else's loved one and they wouldn't have never known." 

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