Items stolen from deceased at funeral home

February 8, 2010 8:34:31 PM PST
The family of a deceased woman says items were stolen right off the body of their loved one at a Bronx funeral home. 48-year-old Gladys Oliveras fought breast cancer for three long years.

She never gave up, and she was never alone.

"At the hospital her husband, son, and sister spent every night with her. She was never alone in the end of her days," said Gladys' sister-in-law, Wendy Sepulveda.

The wife and mother of three was also surrounded in death.

At her viewing Thursday, her family says she had 28 flower arrangements from family and friends.

Her sister, Maria Cortez, says she was horrified at the second viewing on Friday, at the Ortiz Funeral Home in the Parkchester Section of the Bronx.

"Her body was a mess. She was moved. Her jewelry was missing, and there were flower arrangements, big arrangements missing," said Gladys' sister, Maria Cortez.

"She was violated. She was desecrated. It's not fair," said Sepulveda, "Who would think someone would have the audacity to take from a dead person."

"We were robbed of grieving," said Gladys' cousin, Lucia Lugo.

Workers at the Ortiz Funeral Home tell Eyewitness News they're sick about what happened.

They say they reimbursed the cost of the viewing, and have given countless apologies.

Workers say the funeral home was very busy last week with four viewings going on at the same time.

They admit they're not sure what exactly happened.

The family filed a police report and they hope whomever did this, will come forward and own up to the pain they caused their family.

"We didn't get closure. Instead of thinking about her, we keep going back to this," said Sepulveda.