BOSTON (CBS) – April Hopkins is having trouble making sense of everything she’s learned in the last two weeks.
When funeral director Joe O’Donnell was arrested for allegedly stealing $12,000 from a client, investigators were led to a storage facility in Somerville. In one of the units, they found the cremated remains of more than 40 people who are believed to have been clients of Dorchester’s O’Donnell and Mulry Funeral Home.
When she started asking questions, Hopkins learned that the urn she kept in her living room actually did not contain the ashes of her granddaughter Skyler, who died hours after her birth in 2011. The family had entrusted O’Donnell and Mulry to cremate the newborn, whose body is now missing.
“The ashes are not my granddaughter’s,” Hopkins says, “and they cannot find her.”
As part of their investigation, detectives also opened a storage unit at a Weymouth facility in which they discovered a dozen bodies, all thought to be clients of O’Donnell and Mulry as well.
On Thursday, Hopkins got a phone call telling her that one of those bodies is that of her son, Joshua, who died in a car accident in 2012. The family had also believed that O’Donnell and Mulry cremated Joshua.
“His body was just in a box,” she says. “His body was in a box. I am so overwhelmed, I don’t even know what to say or how to say it.”
Joshua’s body is now at the funeral home, but Hopkins is struggling with what to do next. A proper burial would cost about $3,000 and she says the family cannot afford it.
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