'The pain is never going away': Parents learn stillborn daughter's remains thrown away

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LODI, Calif. (KTXL) — The parents of a 21-week-old stillborn baby are heartbroken after learning over the weekend that their daughter’s remains were thrown out. 

Marijo Planas and Everardo Alex Munoz were supposed to lay their daughter Amiliana Rose to rest Monday. 

Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home in Lodi, California, notified the parents Saturday that their daughter’s body was thrown in the garbage several days prior.

“You hear it and you don’t believe it. So you have to hear it multiple times till it just clicks in your head that your daughter’s remains were thrown in the trash,” Munoz said. 

Planas gave birth to her stillborn daughter on June 9 during the 21st week of her pregnancy. On June 28, the funeral home picked up her daughter’s remains from the hospital.

Although the funeral home advised the parents of the incident on July 16, the parents said the funeral home knew since July 5 that Amiliana Rose’s body was missing.

“That was the first thing we asked, make sure she’s OK,” Munoz said. “Nothing bad would happen to her. And just like the complete opposite.”

The parents immediately reported the incident to Lodi police after finding out on Saturday.

On Sunday, Planas and the investigating officer went to the funeral home, where they viewed a video recording of what happened to Amiliana Rose.

“There was another person, went into the freezer, grabbed her bag. Dropped her on the floor,” Planas said. “The guy got the bag and started shaking her, like this and swinging her. Opened, unzipped her, took her out of the black bag, opened it, got a trash bag and just threw her in there. He just threw her.”

“There’s no way that he could shake the body violently, like pick her up and say he didn’t feel anything,” Munoz said. 

Cherokee Memorial Funeral home sent an email statement to KTXL that read: “We are working closely with the family, law enforcement and others involved to investigate and resolve the issue quickly.”

The Lodi Police Department told KTXL it is still in the preliminary stages of the investigation.

Amiliana Rose’s parents hope sharing their story helps prevent this from happening to another family.

“This pain is never going to go away,” Planas said.

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