Family Says Wrong Woman in Casket at Grandmother's Viewing, Body Lost

Another woman was wearing the clothes that they dropped off for their grandmother to be buried in, family says

EDITOR'S NOTE: It turns out the body in the casket at Horton's Funeral Home in Northwest D.C. was Virginia Gray's all along. Read the updated story here

A Washington, D.C., family says their grandmother's body has apparently been lost after they arrived at her viewing to find a different deceased woman in the casket.

"I saw the body of another female that wasn't my grandmother," Tawana Murphy told News4's Pat Collins. "My heart dropped. I was in disbelief."

Virginia Gray, 83, lost consciousness Feb. 19 at her home on Dix Street NE and was taken to the Prince George's Hospital Center, where she later died.

Gray was a lifelong D.C. resident who had a daughter, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

The grandchildren say when they walked into Gray's viewing at Horton's Funeral Home in Northwest last Friday, the woman in the casket was not Gray, but was wearing the clothes they previously brought to the funeral home for their grandmother.

The Prince George's Hospital Center and Horton's Funeral Home have not responded to News4's requests for comment.

"Lunacy is what it is. It's unspeakable. I can't — yeah, this is straight out of a bad script, a holiday script or something. I've never heard of anything like this," said Gray's grandson, Quentin Gray.

Dimensions Healthcare Systems released the following statement to News4 on Thursday:

"On Monday, February 22, a representative from Horton’s Funeral Home arrived at the hospital to pick up the body. The funeral home presented a signed release form giving them permission by the family to retrieve the body and the death certificate. Prince George’s Hospital Center has a thorough verification process prior to releasing any bodies from the morgue to include verification of the patient’s name and medical record number on the body bag, ID bracelet, morgue log and pick up slip to name just a few of the check points. Throughout the verification process, all of the information matched and we are confident that we released the right individual to the funeral home. The situation that the Gray Family is experiencing is extremely unfortunate and we, along with the family, hope that it is resolved soon."

Prince George's Hospital Center is a member of DHS.

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