Virginia Gray’s death was a substantial loss to her family. She died at the age of 83 after she lost consciousness in her Washington, D.C., home, leaving behind four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
When her family members went to pay their respects at Horton's Funeral Home on Feb. 26, they were stunned to discover the body in the casket was not Gray’s, although it was dressed in her clothes.
"I saw the body of another female that wasn't my grandmother," Tawana Murphy told WRC-TV. "My heart dropped. I was in disbelief.”
Gray’s family isn’t sure where her body is and neither Prince George's Hospital Center nor Horton's Funeral Home have responded for comment.
"Lunacy is what it is. It's unspeakable. I can't -- yeah, this is straight out of a bad script, a holiday script or something. I've never heard of anything like this,” said Gray’s grandson, Quentin Gray.
Stories like this are uncommon, but in November 2014, Ella Mae Rutledge’s Chicago funeral service was interrupted when her family discovered her body was missing. Although Gray’s body is still missing, Rutledge’s body had been mixed up with another one at Leak and Sons Funeral Home, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“As far as I’m concerned, I buried my mother [Saturday] when I had her memorial,” said Rutledge’s daughter, Monique Williams. “This is now her shell that will now be buried at a later date.”
At the time, Williams still wasn’t sure what happened to her mother’s body and she only discovered that her mother was missing when she pulled back the wig from the woman in the casket and found that the body had black hair, although her mother had gray hair. “I cannot trust you that this is her,” Williams said.