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

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.