Man Blocked From 'Rapture' When Funeral Home Cremated Him: Lawsuit

A South Carolina family is suing a funeral home in Arkansas, claiming the establishment accidentally cremated their loved one and thus prevented him from being "raptured."

"The Rapture" comes from a belief in some branches of Christianity that both living and dead believers will ascend to heaven during the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The term does not appear in the New Testament and is a relatively recent doctrine, frequently associated with a belief in the literal coming of the millennium, or the 1,000-year rule of Christ after his return.

According to the lawsuit obtained by Newsweek, Harold D. Lee died on November 28, 2019. He grew up near Quitman, Arkansas, and wished to be buried next to his parents there.

Lee's family made arrangements with Roller-McNutt Funeral Home in Arkansas to transfer the body, organize the funeral, purchase a casket and bury him beside his parents at Holland Cemetery.

The deceased man was extremely religious and firmly wished not to be cremated, as he "believed his body would be raptured following the second coming," the lawsuit said.

On December 10, 2019, the funeral home notified Lee's family that they had nonetheless accidentally cremated him. This negligence prevented the body from being preserved for eternity, the family claimed.

Brandon Lacy, an attorney representing the family, said that Lee's wife was "violently shaking in shock" when she learned of the error.

Lee's son was disabled and could not handle emotional distress well, so family members did not inform him of the cremation for over two years, according to the lawsuit. When they did tell him, he allegedly experienced "extreme emotional anguish."

The family is demanding financial restitution and damages from the funeral home.

The Roller-McNutt Funeral Home director apologized for the mistake, waived the funeral expenses and returned a $5,000 fee that the family had paid for burial insurance.

In a response to the lawsuit, the funeral home admitted that Lee's body was cremated but denied all other allegations.

Newsweek previously reported on a Texas man who found the wrong body in his son's casket, only to discover that his son's body had been cremated after it was misidentified as the body of his friend, who died at the same time. In another case, two sisters in North Carolina found a stranger in their mother's casket.

Newsweek reached out to attorneys for the Lee family and the Roller-McNutt Funeral Home for comment.

Man Blocked From ‘Rapture’ By Cremation
A South Carolina family is suing a funeral home in Arkansas, claiming the establishment accidentally cremated their loved one and thus prevented him from being “raptured.” Here, a funeral home in New York City in 2020. Spencer Platt / Staff/Getty Images North America