Cremated remains found of woman family believed was buried - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Cremated remains found of woman family believed was buried

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By Alexis Wiley
FOX 2 News Reporter


DETROIT -- Ralph Perry says he thought his mother was buried ten years ago.

"We've been going to the cemetery for ten years putting flowers down, letting balloons go," he told us.

However, Sarah Perry's remains were never buried.  She was cremated.  Her remains, along with those of 25 others, were discovered inside what used to be Paradise Chapel Funeral Home on Detroit's east side.

The state shut the funeral home down after investigating revealed Russ E. Brundidge, the man who families like the Perrys believed was funeral director, was embalming bodies and handling funerals without a license.

The building's new owner discovered the remains last Wednesday stuffed in a cabinet and asked FOX 2 to help him get in touch with loved ones.

Perry's loved ones went to the former funeral home Monday to pickup her remains, and now there are even more questions.  For one, the certificate of cremation says Perry was cremated on September 15, 2002.  However, that's impossible because her funeral was held on September 25, 2002 and it was an open casket.  Bishop Eric Lloyd was there.

"I preached the eulogy.  Not only did I preach the eulogy, but I committed her body," he told us.

However, he says on the day of the funeral, he noticed something strange.

"I witnessed Brundidge pulling a body along with the workers there at the cemetery back into the hearse.  I said hey, what's going on?  He said the family requested a cremation... but I went the extra mile and gave them a nice funeral."

"That (wasn't) her wishes.  She wanted a funeral, and that's what we gave her," Ralph Perry said.

Regardless of whether those were Sarah Perry's wishes, Russ Brundidge told us her family paid for a cremation because that was all they could afford.  He faxed us the death certificate and the contract.  The certificate clearly says that Sarah Perry was cremated, but the contract says nothing about a cremation and that has Sarah Perry's sister signature on it.

"Somebody (needs) to be held responsible," Ralph Perry remarked.

The family has filed a police report and maybe that will lead to some closure.

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