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NEW YORK - A horrible mix-up involving several funeral homes has left a grieving New Jersey family in even more pain. They say not only were their mother's remains accidentally cremated — then somehow got misplaced and, almost three weeks later, they still haven't been found.
The family members of Consuelo Rivera, who died on March 22 of unspecified causes, told Fox5 that the toughest part of the entire ordeal is by far not being able to say goodbye.
"They stole that from us, they stole my last kiss, my last goodbye," said one of the sons bursting into tears. "It's not right, not right at all."
According to a lawsuit filed by the family, the family hired Biondi Funeral Home in Nutley, New Jersey to handle the service for Rivera.
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But at one point they decided to move her to a New York City funeral home, alleging that the owner of the Biondi home "wasn't doing what he had to do" and "disrespected" their mother, according to Keri Pocelli, Rivera's daughter-in-law.
Rivera's remains were supposed to be transported to R G Ortiz Funeral Home in Brooklyn, but could not be received by there due to transportation delays. That's when the remains were sent to First Avenue Funeral Services — and when the nightmare truly started.
The family got a call on Easter Sunday saying she had been cremated by mistake, and then they claim they were given the run around when trying to retrieve her remains.
After an exhaustive search in the crematoriums of the area Rivera's sons found what they believed to be their mother's remains at Rosemont Crematory in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
However, they were first given an urn with the someone else's ashes.
"It's horrible. It's devastating," Pocelli, Rivera's says.
R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home places the blame on First Avenue Funeral Services, while the owner of Biondi states that his business was free of fault after the body left their facility.
For more stories go to fox5ny.com