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Families reeling over mixed up cremated remains

Dozens of cremains were found on the first floor of the Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church...
Dozens of cremains were found on the first floor of the Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Akron, a building which had seemingly been left vacant.(WOIO)
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 7:12 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Shelly Slone says she was always very close to her sister Sandra.

So when she lost Sandra to cancer 12 years ago she was devastated.

The family had Sandra cremated at Tate’s funeral home and has been keeping her in a box on the coffee table all these years.

Shelly says it’s brought her great comfort to have her sister Sandra’s remains near.

On Thursday they found out that the remains they’ve had may not be Sandra’s.

BCI released a list of 89 cremated remains they found in an abandoned church in Akron and Sandra’s name is on that list.

“I’m devastated. I’m at a complete loss,” says Shelly. “We’ve thought numerous times about letting my sister’s ashes free. Having a celebration and letting her free and moving forward and thank God we didn’t.”

Shelly wonders if there’s any way to test the DNA of the remains, but medical experts say if cremations are done right, there’s little chance they can. However given the chain of events leading up to this development, it’s obvious things were not done right.

In the meantime, Shelly is working with BCI investigators waiting to hear what the next move will be. “I would like our sister to be with us. And for all these families to get closure.”

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