Funeral home buries wrong baby by mistake

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 20 at 1:23 PM

HOUSTON -- A Houston couple is planning a second funeral for their newborn son after finding out they buried someone else’s baby at the first service.

Mercedez Uscanga and Robert Mares said going through the pain of their baby being stillborn was difficult enough. Now they claim the funeral home they trusted made a terrible mistake.

Home video taken by the family shows a range of emotions at the Brookside Funeral Home this past Saturday.

It wasn’t until three days after the service that these parents say they found out the infant inside the tiny casket wasn’t theirs. Their child was still in the morgue.

“The people at the funeral home made me feel that that was my baby, and I cried for a baby that wasn’t mine,” said mother Mercedez Uscanga.

The family blames the Brookside Funeral Home for giving them a whole new layer of heartbreak. However, they said this won’t stop them from giving Armani Angel Mares a proper burial.

“We’re hurt right now. We thought we put our son to rest,” said the father, Robert Mares.

Uscanga and Mares want to know how the troubling mix-up happened. They’re also wondering what’s going through the minds of the other baby's parents.

“Worst of all is to have another family involved with us in that situation where we buried their child,” said the grandfather, George Uscanga.

On Thursday, the family made arrangements for another funeral home to come and pick up the baby. They’ve also hired an attorney, hoping to bring this situation to the attention of the state.

A spokesperson for Brookside Funeral Home sent KHOU the following statement:

“We are working closely with the families affected to resolve this situation to their satisfaction and continue to do so. Out of respect for the privacy of the families, it would be inappropriate to release any details. However, I will say that our associates are well trained and dedicated to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in our work. Our staff strives to serve our families with the highest level of care and compassion. We have policies and procedures in place, however occasionally mistakes happen. In those instances, we maintain full disclosure with the families. Brookside Memorial Park has been proudly serving Houston families for more than 75 years. This is our home, and the people we serve are our neighbors, our friends and our own families. If families have any questions about personal matters with any of our properties, we will be happy to review the details of their records at any time.”

Jessica S. McDunn

Service Corporation International

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