Police are investigating following claims that the coffin purchased for a Queensland grandmother was swapped for a cheaper pine casket for the cremation.
According to Nine News, the funeral of Janice Cecilia Valigura, 74, was held on Monday. As a part of the funeral package purchased, an expensive oak coffin with silk linings was chosen, worth approximately $1,700.
However, following a delay in moving the body from the church to the crematorium, it became apparent that the casket had been replaced.
The woman's body was moved into a $70 pine box and wrapped in plastic instead of the silk wrap that was a part of the package.
"Detectives from the Rockhampton criminal investigation branch are investigating an alleged fraud complaint that was made to police on the 9th of January and involves a local funeral company,” Detective Sergeant Craig Strohfeldt said.
"It is quite serious matter and we’re putting a lot of resources into the investigation.
“In my experience I’ve never received a complaint of this nature. It is quite unusual.”
It has been confirmed by numerous other funeral operators that standard practice is to cremate the person in the coffin purchased.