Seventy-three-year-old Evans Davidson is already stricken with grief after losing his wife, Darlene Davidson, of 51 years. Adding to his grief, the funeral home accidentally buried the wrong woman in his wife’s plot — even after Davidson informed the employees that he was “pretty certain” the corpse he saw during the open casket viewing was not his wife’s.
“It wasn’t my wife and I knew it,” said Davidson. He claims he was pressured by the staff at Simpson’s Mortuary in Ingelwood into continuing with the funeral after they informed him that the embalming process can sometimes alter the appearance of a loved one. Six days after 82-year-old Darlene was supposedly laid to rest, the family received a phone call from the mortuary informing them that their loved one had been misidentified and they’d buried a complete stranger. “He had a lady over there jumping up and down, saying the lady that she came to visit was not her mother,” said Davidson.
Staff at the funeral home asked Davidson to identify his wife’s body — rehashing his grief and pain once again. Although he was hesitant to follow through, hoping that his wife was already laid to rest, he reluctantly made his way over to the mortuary again. “I didn’t know what to think,” said Davidson to a local news station. “Why am I going to ID a body when my wife’s supposed to be buried already?” He was stunned when he walked into the room. “I saw my wife, and the shock just knocked me down,” traumatized Davidson said.
The funeral home is accepting accountability for their error and has offered to exhume the stranger’s body and pay for all the expenses for both aggrieved families. “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,” Dr. Reginald Black, a spokesman for Simpson’s Mortuary, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Davidson has employed the services of an attorney to ask the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau to investigate the foul-up. “Darlene was a beautiful lady. She was a good lady,” he said to ABC News. Mrs. Davidson will be laid to rest on Wednesday.