Woman Finds Wrong Body in Mother's Casket

Daughter believes she was cremated in Ottawa by mistake

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jan 12, 2014 5:43 PM CST

(Newser) – A Rhode Island woman wants answers after discovering the wrong body in a casket that should have contained her mother, who died unexpectedly while on vacation in St. Maarten. Lisa Kondvar, of Warwick, and her family discovered another woman's body in the casket at a New Jersey funeral home last month. The body of her mother, Margaret Porkka, had been prepared at a funeral home on the island. "I looked up, and I was like, 'Good God, are you kidding me?' I was stunned," Kondvar said by telephone.

The family proceeded with the wake, with the casket closed, because they discovered the mistake just before calling hours were about to begin. The relatives believe a hospital or funeral home confused Porkka's body with that of a Canadian woman who died on the island around the same time. They also think Porkka's body was cremated in Ottawa. The family wants to know for sure and will take possession of the ashes if they are determined to be those of Porkka, Kondvar said. The two dead women bore no resemblance to one another and were of different frames and heights, she said. The family has hired a detective and is looking for an international attorney. Click for more on the story.

  (Shutterstock)
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