Remains of a person in the morgue. File picture
Image: 123RF/Katarzyna Białasiewicz via TimesLIVE

A grieving relative broke into a funeral parlour and stole his mother-in-law’s body back after the undertaker went bust, it has emerged.

The man became concerned after he was unable to contact anyone from Butterfly Funeral Services in Rochester, in Kent, England, to discuss arrangements for the service.

Desperate to ensure his mother-in-law was given a proper send-off, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

After gaining access to the premises, he removed the body, taking it to another undertaker in the back of a hired van, but he did not tell his wife as he did not want to upset her.

The man, who asked not to be identified, told the local police what he was intending to do and carried out the bodysnatch in broad daylight, returning later to collect clothing she had wanted to be buried in.

He explained: “I had no option . . . I had to get the body out. I had taken on all of the organising and I didn’t want to bother my wife at this time.

“She still to this day doesn’t know what happened.”

The man’s actions, which took place a year ago, were revealed this week as bailiffs moved in to repossess the parlour which has gone bust.

They found 16 full urns on a shelf, which have not been reunited with their loved ones.

Karen Calder, who ran the business, has since been banned from using the local crematoriums due to unpaid bills.

A handwritten note at the funeral parlour apologised for any distress caused to the families of those affected by the problems and told customers to e-mail her if they wanted to collect the ashes.

The urns have since been moved to another funeral parlour as efforts are being made to contact the relatives.

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