Unscrupulous Funeral Home Lies to Grieving Mom About Her Baby's Ashes

funeral home swaps ashes baby

As unspeakably heartbreaking as it would be to lose a child mere hours after his birth, there is one thing that would certainly make everything even worse: if the funeral home lied about the ashes I’d been given. That’s exactly what Florida mom Tiesha Mack says happened to her, when the Taylor Smith and West Funeral Home in Belle Glade gave them the wrong cremains after she lost her infant son Shaquille Burroughs Jr. Not only did the funeral home allegedly give her someone else’s cremated ashes, they reportedly tried to cover it up until they finally confessed what they’d done.


Baby Shaquille Burroughs Jr. passed away in July, just hours after he entered the world. Tiesha Mack turned his body over to the Taylor Smith and West Funeral Home, then had to wait a month before they provided the family with his ashes.

At that point, the family suspected something had gone wrong because of the amount of ashes — too much for a tiny newborn. The baby's grandmother Charlene Edwards said:

I told (Mack) I really don't think that's the baby. That was my gut feeling.

After the family had the ashes tested at a crematorium, they discovered they’d been given the remains from an adult. A funeral home employee confessed that the baby's body was still at the facility and being stored in a freezer.

As far as they know, the body is still being held in a freezer, and no one’s been able to put little Shaquille to rest. Burroughs says the family has hired an attorney to get to the bottom of the whole mess:

To hold a straight face and lie about something like that about a loved one was terrible.

Assuming this story really did unfold the way the family is saying, I am completely on their side. Everyone makes mistakes, but for a funeral home to try and cover their butts like this was morally reprehensible. Whose adult ashes were those? Where is the baby? My god, what kind of business are they running? My brother-in-law works for a funeral home here in Oregon, and this would never happen on their watch, not in a million years. Most funeral businesses truly care about the families they serve and would never lie like this. What a nightmare for Tiesha Mack and her loved ones, who are already grieving a life lost way too soon.


Image via WPTV

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