May 24th, 2024

Wrong body returned from Cuba to Quebec family after father dies on vacation

By Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press on April 22, 2024.

Faraj Allah Jarjour (second right), his wife and children are shown in a handout photo. A Montreal-area woman is asking Canadian authorities to help locate her father's body in Cuba after a devastating mix-up that saw her family receive a stranger's remains instead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Miriam Jarjour **MANDATORY CREDIT**

MONTREAL – A Montreal-area woman is asking Canadian authorities to help locate her father’s body in Cuba after a devastating mix-up that saw her family receive a stranger’s remains instead.

Miriam Jarjour says she was swimming with her 68-year-old father in the ocean near Varadero on March 22 when he suddenly had a heart attack and died.

She says she followed the directions given to her by the Canadian consulate, and paid $10,000 to have the body returned home to the family in Laval, Que.

However, the casket that arrived late last week contained the body of a Russian man who was at least 20 years younger than Faraj Allah Jarjour and, unlike him, had a full head of hair and tattoos.

Jarjour says the stranger’s body has been sent to his country, but she and her family are no closer to knowing where her father is.

Global Affairs Canada says consular officials are working with Cuban authorities and the family to resolve the issue, but Jarjour says she doesn’t feel she is getting the answers she needs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2024.

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