Man suing funeral home after wife’s casket found floating in flood waters

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HOUSTON, Texas (KPRC) – Last week, authorities in Houston found a casket that was unearthed during the city’s historic flooding.

Inside the casket were the remains of a woman who died eight years ago.

Now, that woman’s husband is suing the funeral home.

“We know that bodies are not supposed to float out of their graves,” said Annie McAdams, the family’s attorney.

Carolyn Lee died eight years ago and was buried at Riceville Cemetery in southwest Houston.

Carolyn’s husband, Richard, got a call from a Riceville Mount Olive Baptist Church, which owns the cemetery.

“You can imagine getting a call like that at work, saying, ‘Contact the medical examiner, they need to talk to you about your wife,” McAdams said.

McAdams says Lee went to the expense of purchasing a cement vault, which should have prevented flood waters from disturbing the casket.

“He paid for all of that, over $11,000,” said McAdams.

McAdams says when Lee tried to get more answers, someone at the church told him not to worry. They said they could rebury his wife at a discount.

“We have not had any cooperation from the church to date,” said McAdams.

She says despite the horror of his wife’s casket being found floating down the Bayou, Lee wants her reburied at Riceville Cemetery.

“That’s their home church, they were married there. They’ve been parishioners there for over 30 years. When Mr. Lee talks about the church,  that’s his family, that’s his home. And he wants to be buried next to her,” said McAdams.

The funeral home that is being sued told KPRC that it did not know about the lawsuit.

Another funeral home has agreed to bury Carolyn at no cost.

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