Relative who performed last rites gave it to wrong family, who spread the ashes

A New Mexico family realizes the remains of the wrong person cremated by a funeral home too late—after their loved one’s ashes were already gone.

The 74-year-old woman’s daughter-in-law told KRQE-TV that the grieving relatives of Carmen Torres learned they had someone else’s ashes when an ID coin did not match.

But by then, the family to which Torres’ remains were accidentally given had already spread most of their ashes, Amy Salazar told the station.

He said that what was left was returned by another family.

“It had weeds in it, a bug, dirt — and so we don’t know how much of it is my mother-in-law,” Salazar told the outlet.

According to KRQE, the reported mix-up occurred when the arrangements for Torres, who died last month, were handled by a morgue in Las Vegas, New Mexico, which did not perform his cremation. The cremation was reportedly performed at a second funeral home in Santa Fe.

“We can’t live in peace because my mother-in-law doesn’t have peace,” said Salazar.

Both funeral homes have apologized to the family and offered to cover the cost of a headstone. None of the companies returned call from KRQE.

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