Funeral home mix-up: Family livid after funeral home buries wrong body

Posted at 11:09 PM, Dec 03, 2013

FAIRFAX, Va. (WTVR) -- A Virginia family is upset after a funeral home misplaced their loved one's body.

WJLA reports that Joseph Chapman's relatives immediately realized the wrong person was in the casket, but said their concerns were dismissed.

“I just wanted them exposed because this just isn't right,” said Jim McLean. “This should have never, never happened.”

McLean said he feels like he was walking into a nightmare after he stepped inside the Everly Funeral Home to supposedly view his 80-year-old father. Instead, he and siblings said when they approached the coffin they immediately knew the man inside was not their father.

“I just kept looking at him and it was just like, ‘No way. It couldn't be this much change.’ Finally, I got a picture that was on my phone and we put the picture up next to him. Temporarily, it was the receding hairline, the guy in the coffin had an extreme receding hairline.

So McLean  summoned funeral home staff members to the chapel, but said they dismissed him, despite the fact that Chapman had a twin brother.

“You know, he immediately recognized it wasn't him. The nose... was totally different,” he said

But still McLean claims the funeral director refused to address the family until coming to check the toe tag around 15 minutes later.

The family was even more frustrated and angry when they realized the decorated Army colonel's uniform that it took their father 28 years to earn.

“It's my dad's uniform. That is just degradation beyond words,” said McLean.

Additionally, McClean said that funeral home's director told him that his father's body had already been buried in Winchester. They're saying now they have to wait until Monday to get a judge to order for the body to be dug up.

Click here to read more on this story from WJLA.