CENTER MORICHES, N.Y. – A man who was expecting to find his recently deceased father's belongings in a plastic bag sent from a funeral home instead made a more gruesome discovery: a human leg.
Christopher Runyan, 35, had lost his father Paul, 77, at Central Suffolk Hospital (search) last week. The hospital was supposed to have turned his belongings over to Sinnickson's Moriches Funeral Home (search), which in turn gave the bag to Runyan's wife Andrea.
But Runyan later smelled a foul odor coming from the bag and when he opened it, he discovered a leg with a toe tag attached. At first he thought it was his father's because he had an arm amputated in an attempt to save him after doctors.
But a blue toe tag attached to the leg indicated it belonged to a completely different person.
"The stench that came out almost knocked me over," Runyan told the Daily News in Tuesday editions. "I turned totally white."
Suffolk County Police detectives said they were investigating the incident, but it does not appear to be criminal.
Hospital officials have pledged to conduct their own investigation. The funeral home has claimed no responsibility because its policy is to not open bags containing the belongings of the deceased delivered by hospitals.
A call to the funeral home for comment on Tuesday was not immediately returned.