‘It’s not my father’s body!’ Wrong man sent home after death on family vacation in Cuba

It has been a devastating month for the Jarjour family from Laval, Que., and on Friday, it got worse.

The family’s Cuba vacation has turned into a never-ending nightmare after the body of their loved one did not return with the rest of the family.

Instead, someone else was sent in his place and now they’re looking for answers as well as their father.

Faraj Jarjour died on March 22 in Varadero, Cuba, and when they went to identify the 68-year-old father of two, a Russian man about 20 years younger was in the casket with tattoos and a full head of hair.

“It was not the body of my father,” said Faraj’s daughter Miriam Jarjour. “It was another person who didn’t look like my father.”

“I’m in shock,” said son Karam Jarjour. “Like, I cried.”

Faraj had a heart attack in the sea on the second day of their family vacation. With no doctor at the hotel they were staying at, the family waited hours for emergency services to arrive and take his body away.

They then called the Canadian Consulate and were told it was closed on the weekend and they could come on Monday.

The consulate also said that the family must pay $10,000 to send Jarjour’s body back to Canada.

They scraped the money together and waited three weeks. Now, they have his passport and death certificate but have no idea where his body is.

“It’s a body,” said Karam. “It’s human, not an animal or something like that.”

The family tried contacting the Canadian government multiple times and when they finally reached someone, Miriam said the employee said it was not their responsibility. It was, she said, the responsibility of Asistur, a Cuban medical insurance company that delivered the body.

However, Miriam said she was never in contact with the company.

“We Canadians are not protected in Cuba,” she said.

The Urgel Bourgie funeral home in Montreal told CTV News that it is in contact with the Cuban company and is looking for the proper body.

Global Affairs Canada told CTV News via email that it is looking into the file.

The whole ordeal has been an emotional and physical drain on the family.

“My mom, it’s been like one month since she has eaten because of what happened,” said Karam.

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