Mortuary employee fired after giving family wrong ashes

LACEY, Wash. -- She was a wife, a mother and friend. A woman married 61 years who fought hard in his last 15 to stay alive.

But a mix-up at a mortuary changed everything for Elise Chrapczynski's family.

"You know, I've heard of that type of thing having happened before," said Keith, her son.

Keith said his mother kept the family together while his father was away in the military.

"For many many years as a child, for sure, she was my best friend," he said.

Chrapczynski said the family used Woodlawn Cemetery for the services and cremation. But a few days later, the family got a call. The woman on the other end of the line was from Woodlawn.

"She said, 'Yeah, we're concerned there might be a mix-up," she said.

Woodlawn later confirmed that an employee did indeed put the wrong person's ashes into the urn meant for the family.

The family eventually received the correct ashes, but Keith Chrapczynski filed a complaint with the state. Woodlawn said it fired the employee.

The Department of Licensing will continue its investigation and still could fine Woodlawn, suspend or revoke their license and the licenses of anyone involved in what happened.