Chicago funeral home buries wrong woman in 'devastating' mix-up

Posted at 6:09 PM, Nov 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-09 20:04:08-05

A Chicago funeral home has apologized after admitting it made a “mistake” that led to one family burying the wrong person, NBC Chicago reports.

Ella Mae Rutledge recently died at the age of 74, and her daughter told the Chicago Tribune that her mother’s remains fell into the wrong hands.
She discovered the tragic mix-up when she went to Leak and Sons Funeral Home on Chicago’s South Side Friday for a last-minute inspection of her mother’s body, but quickly realized it was someone else.
After some investigating, Spencer Leak -- owner of the funeral home -- admitted that an employee mixed up the nametags of two bodies.
“Another family identified [Rutledge] as their loved one and later recanted and that’s when we found out what the mistake was,” he explained.
Rutledge’s body has since been exhumed and Leak said the home is waiting for her family to come and identify her.
Meanwhile, the family of the other woman has re-identified their mother. She was buried shortly after, according to the funeral home. 
Rutledge’s family called the mix-up “absolutely devastating,” as they were unable to identify her body before her Saturday funeral. Instead, the family resorted to holding a memorial service over the weekend in the company of about 300 people.