Family receives wrong ashes for cremated mother - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Family receives wrong ashes for cremated mother

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Dinetta Hodges died November 22, 2009 at just 52 years old. Dinetta Hodges died November 22, 2009 at just 52 years old.
Daughter Kimberly Noel said her mom's wishes were to be cremated, and her ashes spread in the ocean. Daughter Kimberly Noel said her mom's wishes were to be cremated, and her ashes spread in the ocean.
Noel has James Gerald's ashes. His service was handled by the same funeral home. Noel has James Gerald's ashes. His service was handled by the same funeral home.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The ashes had been sitting in the same spot on the mantle for more than three years, until a family found out they had the wrong person.

Dinetta Hodges died November 22, 2009.  She was just 52 years old.

"She was fun. She was outgoing," said her daughter, Kimberly Noel. "We called her D.D."

Noel said her mom's wish was to be cremated.  She wanted her ashes spread in the ocean.

The family had been planning a cruise to fulfill those wishes, until Noel's daughter opened the urn for the first time and found a tag with someone else's information inside.

The ashes did not belong to D.D., but rather, a complete stranger.

"It's heartbreaking," said Noel. "It took this long for us to come to grips with losing our mom. It's almost like she's died again. Because now it's like what did they do? I'm just wondering, like, where's my mom?"

The Tennessee Crematory said it has documented proof that it cremated the remains properly, and that J E Funeral Home picked up Hodges' ashes January 18, 2010.

But the Noel family said J E Herndon had them collect the urn and ashes the first week of January 2010.

"I talk to her every morning. I thought I was talking to her every morning," said Noel. "All this time it's been somebody else."

The crematory said in addition to an I.D. tag, every urn also includes an I.D. disc. Noel said her mother's urn contained no disc.

J E Herndon said it is working with Noel, but has no comment until it completes its investigation into what happened.

Noel said her mom still needs her.

"She's the type of person that if this had happened to me, my momma would've gone to the end of the world to make sure it got corrected. And I am a product of my mom. And I will go to the end of the world to make sure it gets corrected. Not only for my mom, but for everybody else," said Noel.

Noel has James Gerald's ashes. His service was handled by the same funeral home.

She spoke to his family Thursday, and they didn't know they didn't have the correct ashes. Their urn has no identifying tag or disc.

Hodges' ashes may be lost forever.

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