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457-Pound Woman Set to Be Cremated

March 31, 2006

DALLAS (AP) _ A 457-pound woman whose body lay in a morgue for nearly two months because of a dispute over the cost of her cremation will be cremated within the next few days, officials said Thursday.

Charlotte Ann Blue died Feb. 6 but she wasn’t immediately cremated because of the disagreement between Dallas County and its crematorium contractor.

Blue’s son, Sam Hunter, said he believed his mother had been cremated under a plan for indigent county residents until he called to get a death certificate and learned of the dispute.

County Medical Examiner Charles Gaylor said Blue’s case arose amid contract negotiations with the crematorium, which bills the county $300 for bodies that weigh up to 300 pounds.

The crematorium had asked for $157 extra, or $1 per pound, WFAA-TV reported.

When the son found out, the county agreed to pay the extra fee and apologized to the woman’s family, WFAA reported. Her body will be cremated within the next days, Gaylor said.

Extra costs for extra weight are normal in the crematory business because cremation in such cases is more involved and takes longer, said Jack Springer, executive director of the Cremation Association of North America.

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