A Pennsylvania mom said she is living a "nightmare" she can't wake up from after she discovered last week the box she believed to be holding her daughter's cremated remains for the last two years actually contained dog remains.
Jennifer Dailey told WTAE she had a stillborn baby and her daughter, Jerrica Sky, was cremated in April 2015 at the Bauer Funeral Home in Kittanning. The funeral home gave the grieving mother a white box with a bag that was supposed to contain the cremains.
"It’s like a nightmare I can’t wake up from," Dailey told the news site about the ordeal.
Dailey said she held on to the cremains for two years, not looking inside the box once until recently when her husband suggested they spread the ashes somewhere they felt would hold some meaning for their family.
"I finally worked up the nerve to look into her urn and look at her ashes and there was a metal plate in there and I read it and it said Butler Pet Cremation and when I seen that I knew something was wrong," Dailey recalled.
The funeral home immediately apologized to Dailey and said the mix-up happened when Thompson-Miller Funeral Home, who it works with, had accidentally swapped the cremains.
"They told me a mistake had been made and I was given somebody’s pet and they were given my daughter. It turned the worst thing that could possibly happen to me in my life into a thousand times worse," Dailey said.
Glenn Miller, the owner of Thompson-Miller Funeral Home that operates as a pet and human crematory, also issued a personal apology.
"The mistake is mine. Quite honestly, I made a mistake," Miller told WTAE. "I had two identical containers. I just simply put the wrong label on the wrong container. The Bauers and the Bauer family and the Bauer funeral home are not at fault."
'The mistake is mine. Quite honestly, I made a mistake.'
Jennifer Bauer Eroh, from Bauer Funeral Home, also apologized and said she was "deeply saddened" about the mistake, calling it a "human error."
The two funeral homes were able to locate the correct cremains and return them to the Daileys. However, the couple is still "horrified" by the ordeal and may conduct a DNA test and pursue legal action against the funeral home.
"It’s humiliating. I’m horrified. As many times as I sat and cried and held that urn and cried myself to sleep, grieving for my daughter and it was somebody’s dog," Dailey said, adding that she doesn't accept the funeral homes' apologies.