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Funeral home under fire after Bronx family left in dark waiting for loved one’s ashes

R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home is back in the news after a Bronx family says they were left without communication while waiting for their loved one’s ashes.

News 12 Staff

Nov 5, 2022, 2:33 AM

Updated 596 days ago

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R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home is back in the news after a Bronx family says they were left without communication while waiting for their loved one’s ashes. 
The funeral home was previously fined $30,000 for violations in handling the deceased last December, following News 12’s “Death Without Dignity” that shed light on the situation.  
After Alexa Guitard died from cancer on Sept. 10, her family hired R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home for services in mid-September and were expecting to receive her ashes soon after, but didn’t realize the uphill battle they’d be in for. 
“I don’t remember how many times they took down my phone number and didn’t call me,” said Maria Garcia, aunt of the late Guitard. “The way they treated us and have treated other people in the past. They don’t care.” 
The family says they were told they would receive the ashes in two to three weeks, but after six weeks have not heard any significant updates. 
One death care industry source tells News 12 that cremation generally occurs two to six days after the death of a person. They say that issues paying the bill, if the death occurred out of state, or if organs are donated could cause a delay – none of which apply in this case, according to Guitard's family.
According to the family they were told on Thursday the ashes were ready, and offered a refund. They say they don’t want a refund, but just respect for their loved ones.  


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