Family unable to bury grandma keeps casket in living room

Posted: Updated:
Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron
Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron
Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron
Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron
Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron Family was unable to bury grandmother. By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX - A Valley family says a funeral home is refusing to bury their late grandmother.

For two days her body has been laying inside the family’s living room. It is in the living room because after being embalmed they brought the body back home for the viewing rather than having the viewing at a mortuary.

She was supposed to be buried the next day but she was not. Francisca Ramirez was 62 years old when she died last Friday in the very house where her casket now sits above a cooler filled with ice.

Anita Aranda, a family members, says, "Her face is completely changing from what she was when she first got here, and the morgatory (sic) told us ‘No she can stay like that for two weeks’ and I don't think so, she's badly decomposing."

Francisca was supposed to be buried on Thursday. Family members arrived from all over the country and Mexico but Thursday morning La Paz Funeral Home arrived saying they could not bury her.

Chela Flores Harding, with La Paz, explains, "We couldn't bury her." That was because the funeral home says grandma's doctor went on vacation and had not signed her death certificate.

Flores explains, "We cannot bury her, there's no way until one of them signs. He took off on vacation. It was more important to take off on vacation than to sign the death certificate, there's no excuse."

The funeral home tells 3TV this is the first time this has happened to them in the 10 years they have been in business. They also say they plan to give the family $200 back.

As for the embalmed grandmother decomposing in the family's living room, Flores says, “They're just upset and I understand that. They're upset, but the body doesn't decompose in two days? No."

Gloria Mendez says the family feels destroyed.” Grandma's family members tell 3TV the damage to them is already done.

The funeral home plans to file a complaint with the medical board because they are upset they could not get a doctor to sign the death certificate.

As for the family, they called 3TV on Friday and said they got the signature and were able to bury their grandmother.