Bodies switched by Colorado funeral homes

Dec. 15, 2011 at 4:54 PM

DENVER, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The bodies of two men who died on the same day at a Denver hospice were picked up by the wrong funeral homes even though one was white and one black.

Robert Mitchell of Denver was cremated as Perry Heath of Aurora, KUSA-TV reported. His ashes, which have been exhumed, were buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

Staff members at Taylor Funeral and Cremation Services of Aurora realized a few days before Mitchell's viewing they had the wrong body.

The TV station suggested the reason for the confusion was that Taylor and 5280 Cremation and Funeral Services of Aurora, which was to handle arrangements for Heath, used subcontractors for much of the work. Both bodies were picked up after the men died Nov. 10 by subcontractors and the body believed to be Mitchell's was sent to another subcontractor for embalming. The cremation was carried out by the company that had picked up what was thought to be Heath's remains.

Both transportation companies apparently assumed The Denver Hospice had identified the bodies correctly.

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