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Family says Miami-Dade funeral home disrespected loved one’s body

The family says they paid Samuel’s Funeral Home in Northeast Miami-Dade thousands of dollars and that they now feel owed an explanation and a lot of money.
The family says they paid Samuel’s Funeral Home in Northeast Miami-Dade thousands of dollars and that they now feel owed an explanation and a lot of money.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida family says they trusted a funeral home to take care of their loved one. Instead, they say he was treated with disrespect, and they were taken advantage of.

“They treated my dad’s body like it was nothing, like it was trash,” said Sunbright Ducamel.

She says she paid Samuel’s Funeral Home in Northeast Miami-Dade thousands of dollars to take care of her father’s body and that they now owe her an explanation and a lot of money.

Her father, Jean Simon, died Feb. 8. Because of money, Ducamel says she booked a service for a few months later, on May 10.

The family showed up at the funeral home that weekend. The casket was closed when they got there, and Ducamel says when they opened it they knew something was wrong immediately.

“You know those body bags that they use? He was still in there and wrapped in layers and layers of white sheets,” she said. “And the suit that I had paid for was not on him, they just laid it on top of the bag.”

Cellphone video they took inside of the funeral home shows the funeral director shuffling the sheets around in the casket.

“The smell was, it was awful,” said Arnel Ducamel, Sunbright’s brother-in-law.

Sunbright and Arnel say they believe the funeral home is hiding something but won’t tell them what it is.

The family is convinced that Jean’s body wasn’t embalmed. They say the funeral director gave them a check for about $1,500 but gave no explanation other than that it was to help with expenses.

“My only hope that I had was to see him lay there in the casket that day. That was last time I wanted to see him, and I didn’t have that opportunity,” Sunbright said.

Local 10 News reached out to the funeral director multiple times Tuesday to ask him about the situation. He said he wasn’t able to speak, hung up when we called back later, and ignored text messages as well.

The family is now seeking legal help.

“We believe that he deserved to rest in peace with respect,” Arnel said.


About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.