Louie Caldwell was sent to the Thomas L. King Funeral Home in Georgia by mistake. The family was shocked to learn last week that they buried the wrong person after a crime lab mix-up. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation revealed that it mistakenly sent the body of Louie Caldwell instead of Johnny Lowe III, The Augusta Chronicle reports.
The lab learned of the mistake after an employee realized that a corpse being prepped for pickup was improperly tagged.
After Louie Caldwell was sent to the Thomas L. King Funeral Home, they contacted the family about the mistake on Feb. 10, but by then the Lowes had long since buried the person they thought was Johnny.
“We don’t even know who this person is lying here,” Johnny’s brother Donald Lowe said. “He had paid for this plot, and my oldest brother is right up from him,” he added. “I just wish they’d know the hurt they put my family through.”
Johnny, 51, died on Dec. 1 after he fell down some stairs, according to the Chronicle. His body was sent to the crime lab to make sure foul play wasn’t involved,according to Examiner. That’s when Louie Caldwell was sent to the Thomas L. King Funeral Home.
When Johnny’s body was supposedly returned later that month, the family elected to have a closed casket, so they never saw that they had the wrong person.
Since Louie Caldwell was sent to the Thomas L. King Funeral Home, GBI has said that it will pay to exhume the body, but the family is expecting it to pay for another memorial service as well.
“And the person that’s there, I’m sure that he has someone that loves him and they also want to have their brother put back where he belongs,” Donald said.
After admitting that Louie Caldwell was sent to the Thomas L. King Funeral Home, the GBI has said that it will review its procedures for handling bodies so that a similar mistake doesn’t happen in the future.