Family grieves for murdered son, and now his accidental cremation

The Times-Picayune
New Orleans
January 12, 2011

When Michelle Bias-Sullivan left her house in the Riverbend neighborhood last Tuesday night, her son Ralph Bias, 20, was playing a video game.

“I said, ‘I’m going to bingo, Ralph. I’ll be back,'” she said.

Those turned out to be her last words to him. He was killed the next day in a drive-by shooting on the Pontchartrain Expressway.

She hoped to say more. “I wanted to hug him and kiss him before they closed the casket,” she said. “And I know he can’t hear me now, but I still wanted to say, ‘I love you.'”

But, because of a mix-up at the Orleans Parish coroner’s office, Bias-Sullivan and her husband Ralph Sullivan won’t have their last moments with their son. His body was cremated by accident.

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