Where is beloved late father’s body? Science proves identity error amid ‘painful’ blaming game

SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. – A pair of grief-stricken sisters have been searching for their late father’s body for months. Investigators recently validated their fears while a funeral home and a hospital in Miami-Dade County blamed each other.

After their father, Edner Monosiet, died at 71 of COVID-19 on Aug. 28, at The Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, their sorrow turned into outrage in September at The Emmanuel Funeral Home in North Miami.

Sarahdjie and Vanessa Monosiet said they were shocked to find out that there was another man’s body in the casket. Amid the blaming game, state investigators recently got some answers.

“They compared the dental records and the DNA results from when I took the DNA test back on Oct. 27,” Sarahdjie Monosiet said about the partial results of the state’s ongoing investigation. “They’re saying the body they gave to us at the funeral indeed is not my father.”

State officials with the Department of Financial Services’ Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services are leading the investigation.

“When I saw the body, immediately, I knew ... To do all of this and have all of this hardship and it’s not even the right body, that’s painful,” Sarahdjie Monosiet said.

The Larkin Community Hospital reported handing over Edner Monosiet’s body on Aug. 28 to The Emmanuel Funeral Home employees, who insisted the body that was in the casket was his.

“How do you open a casket and tell me this is my father, and I’m telling you it’s not?” Vanessa Monosiet said.

The Larkin Community Hospital released a statement reporting only one person died at their facility on Aug. 28, and since they don’t have a morgue, the funeral home employees retrieve bodies from the rooms.

“The body was picked up within hours of death by the funeral home,” the hospital’s spokesperson wrote in a statement about Edner Monosiet’s case.

The sisters said Emmanuel Funeral Home persistently denied there was an error.

“We’re not crazy, so making us feel crazy was really tough for us and traumatizing, so it was a feeling of relief,” Vanessa Monosiet said about getting the identity report in late December.

The Monosiet family wants investigators not only to find Edner Monosiet’s body but to also find out the identity of the man in the casket, and figure out who is to blame for their nightmare.

“Someone’s loved one is being unfortunately tampered with, played with. They don’t know their family has been through all of this investigation and testing,” Vanessa Monosiet said. “That’s not right ... Christmas was terrible for all of us and you can imagine the pain we’re all feeling.”

Sarahdjie Monosiet agreed.

“I already knew that wasn’t my father. Now that you have proof, what happens next? That’s the part that’s really getting us.

“We had to prove it wasn’t him and that’s fine, but where is he?”

About the Authors:

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.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.