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Murder Victim Cremated by Mistake


"I feel like he was murdered twice."

Ralph Bias, 20, was the tragic victim of a drive-by shooting in New Orleans, LA last week. Now he's the tragic victim of a funeral home mix-up.

Bias's mother Michelle says her son's body was released by the coroner's office to the wrong funeral home. That funeral home, which was supposed to be picking up an elderly white man, then cremated the body. Michelle has not filed suit but does call the actions of the coroner and funeral home "criminal."

WVUE reports:

[Michelle's attorney Allain Hardin] points out that the mix up could have easily been discovered if someone would have just opened the bag. Hardin says within an hour and a half, the process of picking up the body and having it cremated took place. He believes Heritage Funeral Home broke the law.

“Before a body is cremated, someone from the family is supposed to identify that body and there is supposed to be a certification from the funeral director when he delivers the body to the crematorium that the person delivered is in fact the person to be cremated. Obviously, in this case, that was not done,” he says.

Michelle Bias never had a chance to say good-bye to her son before he was murdered. She planned for an open casket at the funeral. It was her last chance to touch her son before he was buried.

The attorney representing Heritage Funeral Home refused to comment. The New Orleans Coroner, Frank Minyard, is planning a news conference on Wednesday to discuss what happened.

The Bias family has not filed a lawsuit but Michelle Bias hasn’t ruled anything out. She says she will get to the bottom of what went wrong with her son’s body. She calls the actions of the coroner’s office and Heritage Funeral Home criminal.

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