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Woodlawn Cemetery Lost Woman's Ashes, Son Claims

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on October 21, 2011 1:01 PM

Woodlawn Cemetery in New York might be facing a lawsuit soon. The cemetery allegedly lost the ashes of Elisabeth Delfini, and her son, Ferdinando Delfini, is considering his legal options.

Ferdinando, 60, says that his mother was supposed to be interred next to his father. He says the cemetery told him it would take 6-8 weeks for everything to be completed.

But when he visited he didn't find a tablet marking his mother's final resting place. All he found was a piece of plywood. When he pulled the plywood back, he discovered there was nothing inside.

Now, it seems his mother's ashes are nowhere to be found. He blames Woodlawn for losing her ashes.

Woodlawn, however, claims that they too are victims. They say that the ashes were stolen from their property. The urn that the ashes were contained in is worth less than $10, reports the New York Daily News.

Is the cemetery responsible - and if so, is Ferdinando entitled to damages?

They might be negligent. Police were investigating the possible theft. But so far they have no leads on any suspects. Even more perplexing is the fact that Elizabeth Delfini's remains were stored with the remains of four other individuals. Yet no other urns were taken, reports CBS New York.

If there was no theft, then maybe the cemetery did lose her ashes. There's little chance that an urn would disappear without some negligence if no crime occurred. In which case, Woodlawn Cemetery might be required to pay the family damages. The specific amount of the award would depend on what the Delfini family alleges in their complaint and what a jury decides.

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