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Family's horror after realising they may have scattered VACUUM bag – not gran's ashes

NewsFamily's horror after realising they may have scattered VACUUM bag - not gran's ashes

Gran-of-six Eileen McClean, 54, was cremated after she passed away from a pulmonary embolism on November 23, 2020. Her family gathered for one final goodbye on December 3 at Kirkcaldy Crematorium to spread her ashes. But horror struck when the ashes lingered for months on the ground, suggesting they may not have been what the grieving family thought.

Now the family are “heartbroken” upon realising that they didn’t know where Ms McClean’s actual ashes are.

Last week, crematorium staff confirmed the awful news – they had been sent home with the wrong remains.

Grieving daughter Mary Newlands, 36, of Kirkcaldy, Fife like her mother, said: “I’m heartbroken. I feel numb. We’ve scattered someone where my mum should have been.

“I feel for the family of this mystery person that we’ve scattered.

“We have to relive all of this. She’s got six grandkids, and they’re going to have to go through it again. One of the younger ones helped to scatter the ashes.

“The other day she got confused and emotional – she started crying when we said we’d have to say goodbye again as she thought we’d already done it.

“There are still so many unanswered questions. She was only 54.

“She didn’t deserve to be left on the shelf for a year and a half.”

But the mystery persisted when Ms Newlands was told that no one else was unaccounted for at the crematorium.

This has led the family to fear that what they spread wasn’t even the ashes of someone else – it may just have been the contents of a vacuum bag.

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Liz Murphy, bereavement services manager at Kirkcaldy Crematorium, said: “We are extremely sorry this has happened, and we’ve apologised directly to the family for the distress this has caused.

“We have very rigorous control processes in place.

“We’ve carried out a thorough audit and we can account for all the ashes in our care.

“We have also asked for independent verification which has confirmed the outcome of our review.

“Our investigations involving all partners in the cremation process are continuing and we will keep the family informed of the results.”

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