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New Jersey mom mistakenly cremated and ashes lost, family sues

Her sons filed a lawsuit alleging extreme negligence after three funeral homes misplaced their mother's remains.
The Biondi Funeral Home in Nutley, New Jersey. Google Maps

A month after a New Jersey woman passed away, her family discovered that she wascrematedby mistake and now her ashes have yet to be located, they claim.

Consuelo Rivera's family has filed a lawsuit seeking damage for extreme negligence naming three funeral homes that were involved in the case, according to NJ.com.

Rivera's two sons planned for Biondi Funeral Home in Nutley, New Jersey to handle her funeral arrangements after her death on March 22.

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After they reportedly became displeased with the service, Emilio and Juan Irizarry changed plans to have their mother sent to R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home in Brooklyn for her funeral.

They hired First Avenue Funeral Services in Manhattan to transport their mother from Biondi to Ortiz.

However, her remains were kept at First Avenue Funeral Services after a delay in transportation and she was mistakenly cremated there, theNew York Postreported.

On March 27, an employee at First Avenue called Rivera's family, telling them that the funeral home cremated her the day before but her ashes could not be found, according to NJ.com.

“Devastating. It's not right. It's not right at all,” Emilio Irizarry said toCBS New York. “They stole my last kiss, my last goodbye.”

After searching for their mothers remains, Rivera's sons believed they had finally found her ashes at the Rosemont Crematorium in Elizabeth, New Jersey. However, the director gave them the wrong urn.

Then, the sons were told thatRivera's remains were located at First Avenue Funeral Services, only to again receive thewrong urn.

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Where the remains are now remains a mystery.

Records show that the body was recovered from Biondi.

"Myself and our staff feel heartbroken about this,"Anthony Biondi, manager of Biondi Funeral Home, said to CBS2. "Our responsibility to the Rivera family ended when Ortiz Funeral Home arrived at our funeral home to remove Mrs. Rivera.”

The owner of R.G. Ortiz claims they never received it and blames First Avenue Funeral Services, according to CBS2.

“A heartbroken and bewildered family is unable to say their final goodbyes,” Michael Lamonsoff, the family's lawyer,said in a statement on April 7.

 
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