A son is ‘livid’ after finding out his mum’s ashes were buried inside a supermarket carrier bag for decades.
Mark Harris, 41, opened mother Muriel Amos’s urn to discover her ashes had been wrapped in a Savacentre plastic bag for nearly 30 years while buried in Henley Road Crematorium in Reading.
Mr Harris, whose mum died when he was 11 years old in 1991, has named the situation ‘disgusting’ and has questioned how many other people have been put to rest in the same manner.
The funeral director has apologised and agreed to provide a new urn, but the full circumstances of the case remain unknown, according to Berkshire Live.
The discovery was made after a hole appeared at Ms Amos’s grave, which she shares with Mr Harris’ step-mother Pamela May Harris.
Mr Harris has alleged the hole is man-made, while staff at the crematorium say it was dug by an animal.
When the hole became larger, both sets of ashes were exhumed for free by Reading Borough Council – but the bereaved son was left shocked when he opened his mum’s urn.
An urn in which Mark Harris found his mother’s ashes inside a carrier bag (Picture: Berkshire Live/BPM MEDIA)
He said: ‘I think it’s disgusting and it makes me think how many other people who might be buried in plastic bags from around the time.
‘I am livid that this happened to my mother. I think the funeral cost about £3,000, and that’s what you get. Someone has done that absolutely deliberately.’
According to Metro.co.uk ,AB Walker funeral directors, which carried out the funeral in 1991, said there were no way of knowing who was responsible for the situation as there are no records left from that time period.
A spokesman for Reading Borough Council, which runs the crematorium, said: ‘We fully appreciate Mr Harris’ concern at his finding, but as this funeral dates back almost 30 years we have no way of checking the route these particular ashes took following cremation, whether that was to a funeral director or via another route.
‘Our current process is that, unless otherwise specified by the family, ashes leave the crematorium wrapped in biodegradable bags and boxes which are labelled twice.