Ohio resident Nancy Bronner is livid after she discovered that her son’s cremated ashes were placed in a Wal-Mart bag by her local funeral home.
Bronner’s son, 17-year-old T.J. Mitchell, died at the age of 17 from cardiomyopathy. Bronner and T.J.’s father Thomas Mitchell had known for several years that their son would die at a young age from his condition. When they spoke with T.J. about his wishes for his body, T.J. said he wanted to be cremated.
After his passing, T.J.’s body was taken to the McDaniel Funeral home to be cremated. The family said they wanted T.J.’s ashes divided into four different bags, which would be placed in urns.
Funeral home owner Bob McDaniel told ABC he did not have four clear bags at the home, and said he “used the bags that I had.”
When Bronner opened the urn, she was appalled.
“I just wanted to hold my baby one last time. So I opened the urn, and found a Walmart bag in the urn. The funeral home had put my son's ashes in a Walmart bag,” she said.
Bronner went to a different funeral home and had them transfer the ashes to a clear bag.
T.J.’s father, Thomas Mitchell, does not seem to be as upset by the Wal-Mart bag as his ex-wife was.
“Was anything done maliciously? No," he WCPO. "It may have been a split second lack of judgment, but they were also looking out for our best interest because the containers we provided did not seal."
Bronner has contacted the Kentucky attorney general's office and the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors to file complaints.
"I don't care who you are, it's not right to put a human person's ashes in a Wal-Mart bag…It is still disrespectful. You don't do that to a parent who has lost their child. You don't do that to anyone. I just want to make sure that this never happens again to another person," she said.