While a local animal rescue volunteer was searching for a missing dog at an Illinois pet cemetery and crematorium that also had an attached animal shelter, he noticed a smell coming from a refrigerator on the property. The closer the volunteer got to the refrigerator, the more overpowering that the smell became.
Upon opening the door, the volunteer discovered the bodies of three dead animals.
One of the animals was a cat that had been implanted with a microchip.
The data on the microchip was read by local authorities and it was discovered that the cat belonged to a family, whose pet had died three years previously.
That family had been given the ashes of a different animal already, according to the Daily Mail in "Pet cemetery is accused of giving the ashes of random animals to grieving owners after dozens of decomposing carcasses were found in a freezer."
It is not clear why the family was given the incorrect ashes or why the cat was never cremated at all.
Unfortunately, the owner of the cemetery committed suicide shortly after the police started their investigation. Therefore, the answers as to why may never be known.
If the owner thought he could avoid any problems by taking his own life, then he was wrong.
It is still possible that his estate could be sued and his family will have to be the ones to face legal consequences, instead of him.
Reference: Daily Mail (July 30, 2017) "Pet cemetery is accused of giving the ashes of random animals to grieving owners after dozens of decomposing carcasses were found in a freezer."