PASADENA, TX (KTRK) --A Houston-area family is consulting with an attorney now after a grave mishap during a funeral for their loved one.
John Zeno who was 25 when died September 25, following a fatal asthma attack. On Saturday, as the graveside service was ending, friends and family say a worker at Paradise Cemetery South had some kind of trouble with the machine used to lower the casket.
His uncle Willie Cosby says the family watched in horror as the worker repeatedly kicked the contraption before pressing a button which dropped the casket and Zeno's 270 pound body into the cement vault.
"You just hear .. Zzzzzzzzzttttttttt!
And the whole body goes slanted," said Cosby.
According to eyewitnesses the vault began filling with water and the casket opened a bit.
The body wasn't visible, witnesses said, but the satin interior of the casket was in plain sight.
It was wedged into the vault, cockeyed.
Friends and family - still in their funeral suits -- jumped in to pull it out.
"It took us 10 guys to get this guy out the ground. Some of us were inside the vault trying to get him out," said Zeno's friend Lee Price.
What was maybe more disturbing they insist was what the worker said to them right after it happened.
"First thing he could say to us is 'my bad,' " Cosby said.
The family wanted a sincere and immediate apology. The family had been through enough.
They're still not happy with the cemetery, even though it made some attempts to make things right today.
Zeno was finally, correctly, laid to rest.
No one at Paradise Cemetery South would field questions from a reporter, referring requests to Dignity Memorial, its corporate parent.
A spokesperson would say only that they are committed to family privacy and that they prefer to resolve issues directly with family.