Funeral Home Accused of Mixing up Bodies, Leaving Grieving Families Waiting for Hours

A funeral home chain in New York has been accused of mixing up several services on Sunday, allegedly leaving grieving families even more distressed after waiting for hours on end for the bodies of their loved ones.

WABC-TV reported that four families attending scheduled wakes on Sunday evening were all left shocked when the RG Ortiz Funeral Home in Manhattan’s Washington Heights seemed to be left staffed by just one woman.

That woman, one attendee told the channel, was then taken away by ambulance when she collapsed apparently from the stress of the day. The families all reported the bodies of their loved ones arriving late to the services—in one instance, the wrong body wearing their loved ones clothes was allegedly brought in instead.

Another family said that they had to wheel out a body that had been left in the chapel they were supposed to be using before then wheeling in the body of their loved one themselves. Each family said they had paid thousands for the services.

The funeral home in Washington Heights is part of a chain of establishments across New York City. In the Bronx, another RG Ortiz facility faced legal action at the end of January when a woman accused the funeral home of not returning the remains of her late sister.

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Speaking to the New York Post, Alfrida Rodriguez accused the business of not delivering the ashes of her sister and neglecting to return her calls. The owner, Michael Ortiz, then claimed to NY City Lens that they had reached out to Rodriguez to pick up her sister’s remains but that it was Rodriguez who had not showed up.

He alleged that he had seen her outside talking to televisioncameras but that she had not simply come in to claim the ashes. Rodriguez’s lawyer told the site that Ortiz had only had “something to say” once media had arrived.