Oct 21, 2009 7:37 AM by Sarah Rosario

Body Mix up: LGMC Speaks Out

New information from Lafayette General Medical Center about what happened the day two bodies were switched up, leaving one wrongfully cremated.

The hospital is now finished with their internal investigation after 58 year old Ruby Joseph and 82 year old Rose Alex were brought to the wrong funeral homes.

Here's a timeline of what the occurrences...On October 7th at 8:40 am, Raphael's funeral home arrived at LGMC to pick up the body of Ruby Joseph.

The hospital says a security officer met the funeral representatives and brought them to the morgue. An LGMC spokesman says they watched as the representative of the funeral home seemed to check the identification of both Joseph's and Rose Alex's body before taking one of the bodies with them.

Later that day at 4:14 pm representatives from Kinchen's funeral home came to pick up the body of Ruby Alex, whose arraignments included cremation. As we know now, they took Joseph's body, and didn't notice either that they had the wrong one.

Lafayette General says the bodies were tags properly with two ID bracelets, a toe tag and a label on body bag. They say they're taking extra precautions now. From now on two LGMC representatives will be on hand at the morgue to double check the correct body is retrieved by the funeral home.

After three days we still could not get a comment from Kinchen's funeral home in Lafayette. They are accused of wrongfully cremating Joseph.

The owner of Raphael's funeral home in Jennings, admits he didn't check the tag as he was supposed to and says he thinks he and the hospital should share the blame for the mistake. Victor Raphael said he signed paperwork indicating he was getting the correct body from the hospital; however he wasn't able to get a copy of that documentation.

Meanwhile, the family of Ruby Joseph says they are still waiting for their mother's cremated remains from Kinchen's funeral home. The family says they've tried calling several times and have heard nothing in return.

"We're looking for closure and without my mothers ashes there's no closure," said Ruby Joseph's son, Kenneth Joseph.

Sarah Rosario



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