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Bronx woman calls for justice, says she received her father's remains in 8 different boxes

A Bronx woman says she received her father's remains in eight different boxes and has been left with many unanswered questions.

News 12 Staff

Mar 24, 2022, 12:26 AM

Updated 822 days ago


A Bronx woman says she received her father's remains in eight different boxes and has been left with many unanswered questions.  
Fatima Prescott says her 82-year-old father, Ferris Baker, resided at Triboro Center Nursing Home from 2017 until his death in April 2020. She says that because of COVID mandates, visitation was restricted for several months.  
Prescott says when she finally got in contact with the nursing home in 2021, she was told that her father had died and was no longer at the facility.
"They said that they tried to contact us from the numbers that they had which I don't believe because my mother has the same number for 36 years," said Prescott.
The 31-year-old says she spent five months trying to locate her father, whose body had been buried at the city's public cemetery on Hart Island.
Prescott says she was determined to give her father a proper burial and have him cremated.  
She says she was told by Ackerman Funeral Chapel that a disinterment would have to take place, meaning that her dad's coffin would have to be removed from the ground.    
Prescott says her father was cremated back in January. She says that she just received his ashes this week in eight different boxes.  
"I feel like I failed my father because nobody deserves to be laid to rest in eight boxes," said Prescott.
The owner of Ackerman Funeral Chapel tells News 12 that he was informed by a city agency that Prescott wanted her father cremated, but that his body had been in the ground for close to a year and a half. He tells News 12 the coffin and its contents were cremated at Greenwood Cemetery in New Jersey and says he did the best he could under the circumstances.
A spokesperson from the New York State Health Department released a statement saying, "Holding nursing homes accountable for the quality of care they provide is a top priority of DOH.  New Yorkers who have a complaint about a nursing home should contact the state's Centralized Centralized Complaint Intake directly at 1-888-201-4563."

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