Three sisters in Virginia were left devastated and brimming with questions after learning the ashes they received in an urn did not belong to their recently deceased father.
The daughters of Gangadar Sohan say they were all in the crematory room at the Miller Funeral home saying their goodbyes, but the cremation of their father never actually took place.
‘We heard the machine come on so we thought “Okay, this is all said and done,” and we’re grieving and we walk away,’ Sohan’s daughter, Brenda Karpaiya, told .
They were also provided a document certifying their father’s cremation. Their father died after a bout of pneumonia at the age of 73.
The day before they were set to pick up their father’s ashes for the burial, a man claiming to work for the funeral home tipped them off that his body was never cremated.
‘I need to tell you some important stuff,’ the unidentified workers says in the footage. ‘You all witnessed the cremation right? He’s not cremated.’
The next morning another worker at the Miller Funeral home in Woodbridge, Virginia, handed sisters a urn containing someone else’s ashes.
They were also provided a document certifying their father’s cremation.
Karpaiya then decided to confront the manager of the funeral home, which she recorded on her cellphone.
‘We just want to make sure that our dad isn’t back there,’ she can be heard saying in the video.
She managed to get back into the room, where she confirmed that her dad was still inside the cardboard box they had previously seen him in.
Workers at the funeral home then suggested to the angered daughter that there had been some kind of ‘mess up.’
‘Whose ashes did I get?’ Karpaiya asks in the video, noting that she was given the urn she had paid for.
‘I don’t know what urn you got’ a worker can be heard telling her in response.
In an email to , Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Amy Ashworth said the matter was being investigated.
‘It is my understanding that there was not a crime that took place,’ Ashworth said in an email to the outlet. ‘The prosecutor did not “decide not to pursue charges” – that statement implies that a crime took place, and we are not prosecuting it, which would be incorrect.’
The incident was turned over to an agency overseeing the operation of funeral homes and cremations in the state of Virginia, Ashworth said. The state Department of Health was also notified of the incident.
Full of frustration and anger, the sisters found another funeral home to properly cremate their father.
They say they stayed for the entire process in order to ensure they could receive closure.
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