Evan Davidson knew something wasn't right when he saw his wife's body at the mortuary. "I looked at her and said, 'Well this don't look like my wife at all,'" said Davidson, 73. "They kept telling me it was, but it's just because she had been embalmed and she was sick." Darlene Davidson, his wife of 51 years, died of heart failure. And on March 1, they thought she was buried.
"We had lots of people there, my friends and her friends," Davidson said. But three days after the funeral, he got a call from an employee at Simpson Family Mortuary in Inglewood, California, asking him to come and identify another body. "He had a lady over there jumping up and down, saying the lady that she came to visit was not her mother," Davidson said. And when he got there, Davidson couldn't believe his eyes. "I saw my wife, and the shock just knocked me down," he said.
The spokesman for the mortuary admits there was mix-up and they buried the wrong woman in Darlene Davidson's grave. "Our main concern is for these people to receive the dignity and respect they deserve, and put the individual to rest. We are not sweeping it under the rug. We made an error and we want to rectify our error and do whatever we can do to make them feel better," the spokesman said in a statement.
Davidson has hired an attorney to ask the state Cemetery and Funeral Bureau to investigate. In the meantime, he says he won't rest until his wife is laid to rest. "Darlene was a beautiful lady. She was a good lady," he said. Davidson and his family held another funeral for his wife yesterday. Davidson said losing his wife has been very difficult, but the mortuary mix-up has made it even harder to deal with.