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Family sues funeral home after daughter’s body ‘accidentally’ cremated

Updated August 9, 2023 - 4:14 pm

A family is suing a Las Vegas funeral home and its related companies after the home allegedly cremated a body meant for an open-casket funeral.

Loren Chavez was fatally shot and found dead next to her husband, who died by suicide, in September, according to the Clark County coroner’s office. After her death, Chavez’s family made preparations to see her one last time at an open-casket funeral before laying her to rest in early October.

When Chavez’s parents dropped off the clothes to be worn on her body for the funeral at Davis Funeral Home and Memorial Park, they were told their daughter wasn’t in the system. They left, but were called back to the funeral home because of an emergency, according to the lawsuit.

Chavez’s body was cremated by mistake, the lawsuit states.

The family is suing Davis Funeral Home and Memorial Park, Legacy Funeral Holdings of Nevada LLC. and other connected companies for negligence after the body was “accidentally” cremated, according to the lawsuit. They seek in excess of $15,000 and the cost of their attorney fees from the defendants.

Mike Wilfong, general manager for Davis Funeral Home and Memorial Park, confirmed that an accidental cremation occurred at the funeral home and said staff members are doing “everything we can” to resolve the issue that caused the error.

Christian Morris, the trial lawyer representing the family, said family members are devastated. She said they were looking forward to seeing Chavez one more time, and burying her body was very important to their religion.

Morris said an accidental cremation should not be possible because of the safeguards in place throughout funeral homes, and the family also filed a complaint about the home with the funeral board.

“You have a system of checks and balances in these funeral homes, so this isn’t just like a one-off, it’s a systematic failure,” Morris said.

Delia Salcido, Chavez’s older sister, described her as outgoing and fun, and that she “would light up a whole room” when she entered.

Salcido said the family was devastated by her death, and her cremation only added to that pain. She said finding out about the cremation felt like her sister was killed again.

“It’s still a struggle to cope,” Salcido said, “and we weren’t able to have that peace to see her one more time and pray over her and have a place to visit her.”

Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com.

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