Family Makes Disturbing Discovery When Funeral Home Placed Wrong Person in Casket at Mother's Viewing

A photo of Mary Archer, who passed away on August 31, 2021.
Hunter's Funeral Home

“We just couldn’t understand how this could happen,” said daughter Jennifer Taylor, who described the ordeal as “embarrassing," according to a report.

A mix-up at a North Carolina funeral home ended up with the wrong person in the wrong clothes being placed into the wrong casket.

The disturbing discovery was made on Sept. 7 during the viewing, when sisters Jennifer Taylor and Janetta Archer walked up to their mother’s casket to pay their final respects and realized that the person lying inside the coffin at Hunter’s Funeral Home in Ahoskie, NC, was not their mother, but a complete stranger, who happened to be wearing their deceased mother's clothes.

“We just couldn’t understand how this could happen,” Taylor told WAVY 10News, who described the ordeal as “embarrassing.”

Her sister, Janetta Archer, chimed in, adding that her mother and the woman in the casket had no similarities, whatsoever.

“Their size was way off,” Archer said. “When the first person had the clothing on, she was swimming in the clothes because she was so small compared to my mother.”

Once the funeral home was made aware of the issue, the sisters told the news outlet that they denied any wrongdoing and said that the person in the casket was their loved one. However, once an attendant went back into the embalming room, they realized the mix-up. 

After things were sorted out, the service continued for their beloved mother, Mary Agnes Outlaw Archer. However, the sisters said they felt they were never given a proper apology 

“No one addressed it immediately,” Archer said. "It would have been a different situation if they had just come up front and addressed it immediately to show that yes, they did, they made an error.”

The embalmer said this has never happened in his 40-year career, WAVY News reported. 

He also claimed to have reached out to the family to discuss the matter, but never received a call back from them, The New York Post reported. 

When Inside Edition Digital reached out to the funeral home, someone named Caroline politely declined to comment, saying, “No ma’am. You have a good day ma’am,” as she quickly hung up the phone.

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