Hospital, Doctor Confirm Body at DC Funeral Home Is Family's Grandmother

A family who had said the wrong body was in their grandmother's casket is now reassured that, yes, it's Virginia Gray.

The mystery of a beloved grandmother's missing body has been solved: It turns out the body in the casket at Horton's Funeral Home in Northwest D.C. was Virginia Gray's all along.

News4 first reported earlier this week that Gray's family showed up to their grandmother's funeral at Horton's Feb. 26 and, they believed, found the wrong body in the casket.

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

The family visited the funeral home again Thursday to take a second look, accompanied by Gray's doctor.

"The physician determined it is my grandmother. We had them to strip her down of all of her makeup and put her in her natural light — as much as her natural light as possible," the woman's grandson, Quentin Gray, told Collins.

The family was apparently thrown off by the funeral makeup and the lighting at first. The funeral home said they did their best to make Virginia Gray look appropriate.

The Gray family said they understand, and that they appreciated the patience and consideration of the funeral home.

Gray's grandchildren said they are now convinced the body is their grandmother's.

"Now we can move forward and have closure and get a funeral going," Quentin Gray said. 

In a statement to News4 earlier Thursday, the Prince George's Hospital Center said it was certain it released the right body to the funeral home and that "the situation the Gray family is experiencing is extremely unfortunate."

Horton's also said the body they cared for was identified to them by the hospital as Virginia Gray, and that the body had a toe tag with her name on it. The body also had an identification bracelet with an "Doe-Athens" name on it, an apparent name the hospital uses when an unknown patient first arrives.

Gray was 83 years old and was taken to the hospital Feb. 19 after she fell unconscious. She died after a short time at the hospital.

The family said it will soon start planning the beloved grandmother's funeral.

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