VIRGINIA

Fairfax funeral home buries wrong body

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FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) - A family mourning the loss of a loved one had their sorrow turn to anger when they realized the wrong body was in the casket.

Jim McLean, a Northern Virginia resident, was shocked when he went to view the body of his 80-year-old father, Joseph Chapman, whom the family was laying to rest. He immediately realized it wasn't him.

"This just isn’t right. This should never, never happen. This is something you read in a fiction novel or see in a movie on TV,” McLean said.

McLean says he summoned funeral home staff members to the chapel, but says he was dismissed.

"His twin was here - my Uncle Alvin came from Tennessee. He immediately recognized it wasn’t him. The nose was totally different," McLean says.

McLean says the funeral director refused to address the family, but eventually checked the toe tag and realized it wasn't Chapman's body in the casket. 

Joseph Chapman was a decorated Army colonel. The family says not only did the funeral home mix up the bodies, but they dressed the wrong man in the uniform, something that took their father 28 years to earn.

“My dad’s uniform... that’s degradation beyond words for a military man,” McLean says.

The funeral home refused to say where Chapman’s body is. However, Everly's manager tells McLean that his father has been buried in Winchester and that a judge will have to order an exhumation.

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