by: Richard Thompson Updated:
The family of Jerry Moon, a man who was terrified of being cremated, had planned a final goodbye at his funeral Monday.
They opened the casket to see him one last time.
But what they found was the wrong dead man.
And Moon was cremated.
“This makes me feel like he was treated as a number, not a person,” daughter Cheryl Moon said.
The wrong man was wearing Jerry Moon's clothes, and a photo of Moon and his wife, Jan, was tucked under the pillow of the coffin.
Officials with Hospice Care in Longview tell KIRO 7 they believe the body mix-up happened after the funeral home took possession of Moon's body. KIRO 7 asked Brown Mortuary for an interview, but officials with their parent company in Houston, Service Corporation International, said they cannot comment on the issue.
SCI runs roughly 1,400 funeral homes and 400 cemeteries in the United States and Canada.
When Moon’s family opened the casket, the body had a plastic bag over his head. Brian Moon was sickened thinking the mortuary had left a bag on his father Jerry Moon's head -- but then his brother realized it wasn't even their father in the casket.
“I turned around and said to myself three times, ‘That’s not him, that’s not him, that’s not him,” Randy Moon told KIRO 7.
The family learned a 97-year-old man died in hospice care at the same time as their father and somehow the bodies were mixed up.
“The only other thing I can say is we know where he really is,” Randy Moon said. “We’re a believing family, and we believe he is in heaven.”