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Widower sues mortuary for sending wrong body

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A widower is suing a mortuary for sending the wrong body to his wife's funeral.

In a lawsuit filed this week, Ricardo Sandoval demanded unspecified damages for the emotional distress he said he and his two children, ages 2 and 5, suffered because of MacDougall Family Mortuary.The mortuary called in the middle of the funeral Mass to tell the Sandoval family they had the wrong body.

Maria Sandoval, 28, died last month of leukemia.

Workers for the mortuary came to the church, wheeling the correct body down the aisle and wheeling out the stranger's corpse.

"We'd already cried, and later someone comes and tells you that's someone else's body," Sandoval said. "You're thinking your loved one is out there, somewhere."

Mike Ross, the manager of MacDougall, says it was an honest mistake that the funeral home corrected.

The funeral home apologized and tried to make amends by refusing payment for its services, he said.

Sandoval says he wonders whether the saying of a Mass when his wife's body was not there changes what will happen to her soul.

"With my beliefs, when you do the last blessings, the body is supposed to be there for the whole ceremony, not half," he said.