Family feud leads to stolen ashes from New York funeral home: lawsuit

A family feud between a woman and her dead sister’s children got so bad that she allegedly stole her sibling’s ashes from a Queens funeral home, a lawsuit alleges.

The cruel deception played out when the woman, pretending to be her niece, called the Leahy-McDonald Funeral Home in Richmond Hill and asked for a young relative to collect the ashes of Mohie Mangru, 71, according to court records.

The facility released Mangru’s ashes without confirming that the woman who called was actually Mangru’s daughter, a lawsuit alleges.

Mohie Mangru's sister - who passed away in February 2021 - reportedly posed as Mangru's daughter to pick up the ashes.
Mohie Mangru’s sister, above, allegedly posed as her daughter to pick up the ashes.

The daughter, Noressa Bethune, became suspicious when no one called her to retrieve the remains after her mother’s funeral on Feb. 28, 2021, she said in court filings.

Bethune claims she was told “that only she would receive the death certificate and ashes of the deceased because she signed the contract with the funeral home,” according to a Queens Superior Court lawsuit filed by Bethune and her siblings became.

She later learned that another person had claimed the ashes — and scattered them in Rockaway Beach, according to a live Facebook video earlier this month.

Bethune and her aunt don’t get along, said Bethune’s attorney Eric Rothstein, who said the aunt was the one who called the funeral home, pretending to be Bethune and believed to have distributed the ashes. Bethune and her siblings are not suing their aunt, Rothstein said.

The funeral home, in a March 2 filing responding to Bethune’s claims, says it is not solely responsible for the error “made” by the dead woman’s children.

An attorney for the funeral home did not respond for comment. Family feud leads to stolen ashes from New York funeral home: lawsuit


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