At Wake, Family Views Wrong Body; Funeral Home Accidentally Cremated Their Loved One

State police and public health officials are investigating a local funeral home after it apparently cremated the remains of the wrong person.

Aurelie Germaine Tuccillo, 95, was to be buried Wednesday at Calvary Cemetery in Waterbury, following her funeral at St. Anthony's Church in Prospect.

But when Tuccillo's family arrived at Buckmiller Brothers Funeral Home on Route 69 Tuesday night for Tuccillo's wake, they discovered what appeared to be a different person lying in the casket, state police said. The wake went forward as scheduled, from 6 to 8 p.m.

According to a police incident report, Daniel Tuccillo, the son of Aurelie Tuccillo, called state police at 9:13 p.m. and troopers went to the funeral home, where they determined that Tuccillo's mother had been cremated accidentally and a different body put in the Tuccillo coffin.

Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman, said Wednesday that there does not appear to be anything criminal about the incident. "The complaint is they mixed up two bodies," he said. "It's a non-criminal event. We're doing an administrative investigation."

The results of that investigation will be turned over to the state Department of Public Health, which regulates funeral homes.

Daniel Tuccillo, of Prospect, declined to comment Wednesday night.

The funeral home owners declined to answer questions Wednesday, but released a written statement from Wayne P. Buckmiller.

"There has been a most unfortunate incident involving the late Mrs. Tuccillo, beloved mother, sister, grandmother, aunt and friend to many," the statement reads. "The funeral home is working closely with the family to resolve this difficult situation and extend our most sincere condolences to them at this challenging time. We will issue no further statements regarding this matter out of respect for the privacy of Mrs. Tuccillo's family and the sanctity of her passing."
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