Family accuses Bronx funeral home of mishandling loved one's body

Denise Mercado says she was horrified to learn her mother's remains hadn't been prepared for her wake or funeral.

News 12 Staff

May 26, 2021, 3:25 AM

Updated 1,118 days ago

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A Bronx funeral home allegedly left a woman inside a body bag for her services, according to the family of the deceased.
Denise Mercado says she was horrified to learn her mother's remains hadn't been prepared for her wake or funeral.
"They took her out the freezer, put her in the casket, put a blanket over her and that was it," she said.
When Pimentel died, her family chose Ortiz Funeral Home for her services. Mercado said, "It was just easier and convenient for us to get there."
"For her to be treated like an animal, it would hurt any child," she said. "I don't want nobody to suffer the pain that I suffered because of that."
The family told News 12 they picked out special clothing for their mother to wear -- colors she would like, and shoes handmade made by her son. They say the clothing was thrown in the corner of her casket.
Pimentel was originally hospitalized for fluid retention and caught COVID-19 at the hospital, according to her daughter. Doctors then told the family their mother died from a stroke.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that after a body is prepared the staff should safely remove PPE and throw it away, wash hands, shower as soon as possible and clean clothing, and that families should avoid touching the body of a loved one who passed from COVID-19.
The Department of Health says it's investigating the incident.
News 12 attempted to contact the funeral home for comment and is awaiting a response.


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