Santa Fe funeral home mixes up family’s ashes
LAS VEGAS, N.M.—A grieving Las Vegas family said they are devastated over the news that a Santa Fe funeral home mixed up their loved one’s ashes with another stranger’s ashes.
"Heartbreaking, it’s devastating,” said Amy Salazar, the daughter-in-law of Carmen Torres. Torres passed away in late September.
"She was a wonderful lady,” said Salazar. “She loved children. She loved to cook."
The family said Torres wished to be cremated, and buried in a box built by her own son. The family planned to bury her Tuesday, until they realized the funeral home’s mistake two days earlier.
Salazar said the family realized the ashes were wrong because some of the numbers on the box didn’t match up. She said the Berardinelli funeral home in Santa Fe confirmed the mix up, and tracked down the correct ashes, but it was too late—the other family had already spread them.
“We were all just devastated because we wanted all of her to bury her,” Salazar said.
KOB 4 called the funeral home and tried knocking on the door Wednesday, but didn’t get a response.
Salazar said what was left of her mother-in-law’s ashes wasn’t nearly the same—they were mixed with dirt, weeds, and even a worm.
“We’re lost, like this is what’s left of my mother-in-law,” said Salazar. “She was a full person and we get maybe a cup’s worth."