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Illinois funeral home mixed up corpses, buried the wrong body, family says

An Illinois funeral home allegedly tagged bodies wrong.

An Illinois funeral home allegedly tagged bodies wrong.  (Google Street View)

An Illinois funeral home found out it was dead wrong the hard way.

An alleged mix-up involving the tagging of a couple of corpses at Leak and Sons Funeral Home led to the wrong woman laying in Ella Mae Rutledge’s coffin during her funeral on Saturday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Rutledge’s daughter, Monique Williams, was shocked when she arrived at the funeral home to find an unfamiliar-looking body where her mother was supposed to be.

“As far as I’m concerned, I buried my mother [Saturday] when I had her memorial,” Williams said. “This is now her shell that will now be buried at a later date.”

When Leak and Sons realized the error, Williams said the funeral home began showing her other bodies at the location – even going so far as to try her mother’s dress on a different corpse – but all to no avail. Finally, Williams viewed a picture of a body that had been buried a day earlier, a body that looked a good deal like her mother.

But given the issues already present with the funeral home, Williams said she may need a DNA test to know she’s found – and interred – her mom’s body for sure.

“I cannot trust you that this is her,” Williams said.

Rutledge died on Oct. 31. She was 74.