By Richard Thompson
CHEHAILS, Wash. (KIRO/CNN) - A man whose family says he was terrified by the thought of being cremated by mistake. When his family opened the casket at his funeral, they realized somebody else was about to be buried in his place.
Jerry Moon's loved ones say at the end of an emotional memorial service, his casket was opened so they could say goodbye, and nobody could believe what they saw next.
"When they first opened the casket, the body had a plastic bag on for his head," said Moon's son, Brian Moon.
Brian Moon was sickened, thinking Brown Mortuary had left a bag on his father's head, but then his brother realized it wasn't even their dad's body in the casket.
"I turned around and said to myself three times, 'It's not him. It's not him. It's not him," said Randy Moon.
The family found out a 97-year-old man died in hospice care at the same time as their father, and somehow, the bodies got mixed up, and the wrong man ended up in the casket, wearing Jerry Moon's clothes with a photo of Jerry and his wife, Jan, tucked under the pillow of the coffin.
And then came another shock, when they were told what really happened to their father's remains.
"It has been confirmed that my father has been cremated on accident," said Brian Moon. "And my father was terrified of being cremated."
"On that level of mistakes, there is no excuse. I just can't believe that that can happen. I just can't believe it," said Randy Moon.
The family has hired an attorney to find out what went wrong and to confirm the cremated remains really are those of Jerry Moon. Right now, the only thing they can believe in is their faith.
"The only other thing I can say is we know where he really is," said Randy Moon. "We're a believing family and we believe he is in heaven."
Hospice officials say they believe the body mix-up happened after the funeral home took possession of Jerry Moon's body. KIRO-TV wanted to speak with officials at the mortuary, but they declined comment.