Family Sues Over Mangled Corpse at Open-Casket Wake

"Without getting overly graphic, suffice it to say evidence of that autopsy was clearly visible here during the five-hour open-casket wake." The La Paz Funeral Home in The Bronx handled the arrangements for Fernando Maldonado, 43 at his death, whose body came from the city's medical examiner's office in a less than presentable state, and was allegedly presented in that condition at his June 1 wake.

La Paz told WCBS News that "we did the best we could," though a lawyer for the family, which is suing, says they should have just told them they couldn't do the job. ("Closed casket" were the words that came to our mind.)

The photos are said to be too gruesome to show to anyone outside a court of law, but a family member says, "There were exposed wires, there were flies going in and out of the wound." Also: "There was a hole behind the dead man's right ear that appeared to be seeping blood" and "The corpse was a dark bluish color in spots."

La Paz has apparently been a good neighbor in its community in the past, providing a free coffin and services for a two-year-old killed in an accident.

We want to be cremated when we go.


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