Man Discovers Wrong Body in Son's Casket, Learns Real Son Is Cremated

A Texas father was in shock after discovering the wrong body in his son's casket only to be later notified that his son was actually mistakenly cremated due to a case of misidentification.

Davis Brady, 22, and Kyle Betts, 36, were found in an apartment together by police after both suffering fatal overdoses in April 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV reported. Within days, Brady's family decided to have him embalmed and Betts' family wanted him cremated.

But during the ensuing investigation, the men were misidentified as each other. By the time the families learned the men's identities were switched, the body thought to belong to Betts—but was really Brady—was cremated.

Jim Bates, the director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of North Texas, told CBS News' Dallas affiliate that he receives hundreds of complaints and has never once received one about a body switch.

Yet, many people across the nation share similar horror stories. Such as the sisters who found a stranger in their mother's casket, or the Washington state man who was informed a stranger was accidentally buried in his father's casket.

Betts' mother Sandy Betts said a few days after deciding the plans for her son's body, she received a Facebook message from Brady's mother.

"She said he's been embalmed. He was embalmed and is in a casket she had planned for her son. Can you imagine this poor mom?" Sandy told WJAX-TV.

While home in Waco, Texas, the Brady family was preparing to view their son in his casket.

"The body they rolled in, I said that is not my son," Brady's father Stephen Brady said. "Hair color is not right, the beard color wasn't right."

After finding out about the switch, Sandy contacted the funeral home but was told that the body was just recently cremated that day.

Even more devastating was the fact that the Brady family is Mormon and cremation is against their religious beliefs.

"In the Mormon Church...they prepare for burial by embalming," Stephen told a local outlet. "We never got to see my son's body at all. We were returned ashes."

Sandy also contacted the medical examiner and the officer confirmed the mix up. Both families said they were never contacted by officials to identify the men.

"That is the most frustrating part. They did not tell me how they ID'd them. They did not ask for anyone to come ID," Sandy said.

According to an incident report obtained by WJAX-TV, the investigators described both men as having strawberry blond hair, similar builds, and fair complexions. While Brady was 6-foot-1, had fair skin, and strawberry blond hair, Betts was 5-foot-4, had a dark complexion and dark hair.

Both families said that the men's case numbers were mixed up when they were transported to the medical examiner's office. During the autopsy exams, the men's numbers were switched again which left them correctly identified.

However, toxicology reports months later used the initial case numbers and were "corrected" although the numbers were already correct.

Both families are exploring their legal options and said the medical examiner and the county detectives on the case need to be held accountable. Stephen said he still has not received an apology for the traumatic mistake.

"I'll never be able to bury my son's body. We planned on putting him next to his grandfather," Stephen said.

Funeral casket
Two families were shocked to find that their sons' bodies were switched and one was wrongly cremated. The two men were found in an apartment together by police after both suffering fatal overdoses in April 2021. iphotographer/iStock