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Coroner: Wrong body buried after crime lab mix-up in Georgia

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A coroner says a mix-up at the state crime lab led an Augusta area family to bury the wrong body during a closed-casket funeral.

Burke County Coroner Susan Salemi says the body of Johnny Morgan Lowe III was never returned after an autopsy.

Instead, Salemi says, another body — Louie Caldwell of Clayton County — was mistakenly buried during the December graveside service for Lowe.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that officials confirmed the mix-up on Wednesday.

Salemi tells the newspaper she was notified of the mistake Feb. 10, when she received a phone call from Georgia Bureau of Investigation Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kris Sperry. Salemi says Lowe’s body remains at the GBI lab.

GBI officials say the agency will retrieve Caldwell’s body and pay for Lowe’s burial.