(NYPOST) – A Florida funeral home let an 11-year-old girl’s remains rot for weeks, leaving her unrecognizable right before her planned memorial, her family claims.
Relatives of Re’Asia Washington say Shawn Johnson Funeral and Cremation in Rivera Beach neither embalmed nor refrigerated the child’s body, allowing it to severely decompose.
“My daughter was deteriorated beyond recognition, her skin has come off her body,” the girl’s mother, Ebony Morgan, told local outlet WPTV.
The fifth-grader, who had dreamed of becoming a pediatrician, suffered a fatal asthma attack Jan. 22, during a family vacation to Savannah, Georgia.
She had been volunteering at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day block party, her uncle said.
“Her last act was serving the community at our block party by feeding the hungry,” Pierre Ifill wrote on Facebook.
The family hired the funeral home to bring her body back from Georgia and prepare the remains.
But when Morgan went to view the remains on Thursday she couldn’t recognize her daughter, Ifill, a Georgia-based attorney, told The Palm Beach Post.
“All I wanted to do was sit and have some time with my child,” the mother said in a video posted Friday on Facebook. “But you denied me that right.”
The family was forced to cancel a viewing, and held a memorial service without Re’Asia’s body on Saturday, Ifill said.
“The family just wants answers why was our loved one not properly taken care of, why was her body not properly preserved?” Ifill told WPTV.
The family filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services, and are considering bringing a lawsuit.
The funeral home’s owner couldn’t be reached for comment.