FORT WORTH, Texas — A family's closure after their mother's death reopened in the wake of an investigation into a Fort Worth mortuary.
Aundrea "Candy" Jones wasn't one of the eight bodies found inside the vacant Johnson Family Mortuary earlier this month. Her ashes were sitting in a box on the family's mantle.
At least family members thought it was her.
Now, Jones' heartbroken family is trying to figure out where those cremated remains are, because they got the wrong urn and they're wondering how many other families did, too.
The box of ashes her family received was treated with reverence, placed on a mantle where it evoked powerful memories of the woman lovingly known as "Mother Jones" to her four daughters.
"She instilled so many values and morals within us," said Felicia Braxton, one of her children.
Braxton said her mom had great affection for Dondre and Derrick Johnson, twins well known in the funeral business. So when Mother Jones passed away in February, her daughters chose the Johnson Family Mortuary, run by Dondre and his wife, Rachel.
"We trusted them because we had been knowing them," she said.
But when it took weeks to get the ashes, Braxton grew suspicious of whether they really were her mom's remains.
Then, after police removed eight bodies from the mortuary, Braxton compared the serial number in the box against crematory records.
It's the wrong box.
"We trusted you. We were deceived. And now we're hurting again," Braxton said. "This pain is unbearable."
Attorney Bobbie Edmonds is trying to help the family identify and contact the right family, but they still don't know who has their mother's remains.
Felicia Braxton blames more than sloppy record-keeping for the pain so many families now feel.
"Well you know what? Sometimes greed and temptation walk hand in hand. And sometimes it takes the best of us down," she said. "Sloppy? I blame that on greed and temptation."
Investigators have told the Jones family attorney they need the ashes as evidence. The family hopes other families who received ashes from this now-closed mortuary will check the records to make sure they really do have their loved one's remains.