A Florida family says the sadness they felt after losing their baby became even harder to deal with after discovering that a funeral home gave them a different person’s ashes and never even cremated the child like they were supposed to.
According to reports, Shaquille Burroughs Jr. died just hours after being born in July, and following his death, his parents knew they wanted to cremate him. The family hired Taylor Smith and West Funeral Home in Belle Glade, Florida, to take care of their deceased son, but after being told the baby’s ashes would come after a couple of days, weeks later, they still hadn’t received anything.
Finally, a month after his death, the boy’s grandmother received a call letting her know that the ashes were ready to pick up. When she retrieved them, she immediately noticed that they were heavier than anticipated.
“When I arrived and picked them up I was saying to myself, ‘These urns are heavy,’” Tequila Burroughs said.
“I told her I really don’t think that’s the baby,” the baby’s other grandmother, Charlene Edwards, said. “That was my gut feeling.”
The family had the ashes tested and discovered that they belonged to a grown adult. Shocked and angry, the family brought the ashes back to the funeral home and confronted workers who eventually confessed to the ashes not belonging to the baby.
“She came out and told us the truth. She said ‘yes, the baby is still here,’” said Edwards.
The baby, as it turned out, was still in the freezer and had never been cremated.
“To hold a straight face and lie about something like that about a loved one was terrible,” Tequila Burroughs said.
Now, the family has hired lawyer Charles White to sue the funeral home, and the baby’s parents say that they are devastated over the situation.
“No one should ever experience this. No one,” said Tiesha Mack, the deceased baby’s mother.
“I haven’t been the same since this happened,” said Shaquille Burroughs, the baby’s father.
This is reportedly the third lawsuit filed against the same funeral home. They have yet to comment on the situation.