Fish shop receives dead man instead of box of fish

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A pet shop in Pennsylvania is hitting the headlines today after receiving an unexpected package " a dead man, instead of the boxes of fish they ordered.

Instead of the three boxes containing $1,000 worth of tropical freshwater and marine fish he was expecting, Mark Arabia at the Pet Plus store in Philadelphia received the corpse of Jon Kenoyer - a former mailman who had died from early onset Alzheimer s.

The mix-up was discovered on Tuesday when staff from the pet shop returned a second time to fetch their fish. They had been turned away from the airport on Monday due to lack of identification and were worried that the fish might be in distress after spending such a long time in transit.

The seven-foot long wooden coffin was wrapped in cardboard so it was not immediately obvious that there had been an error. However on return to the shop an employee summoned Mark Arabia the co-owner of the chain about the unusual box and he immediately realised that this was no ordinary fish delivery.

Ray Arabia who runs the operation together with his brother is quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer saying: "My brother happened to be there, and he runs all the fish operations. The employee said, 'You need to see this. They shipped the fish in a different box this time.' "

Mark Arabia "knew right away that something was wrong," his brother said. "We've never got a seven-foot box of fish."

He called the state police and it was discovered from the documentation that the body was en-route to LifeQuest Anatomical; a medical research laboratory in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

US Airways flew the body from California and issued a statement: "Regrettably, there was an unfortunate mix-up due to a verbal miscommunication between a delivery driver and the cargo representative. We are working to rectify the situation and are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this has caused."

The body has since been taken to its correct destination.

When the three boxes of fish were finally returned to Pet Plus they had all died.

"This isn't the first time," Ray Arabia said, "but it's happened numerous times, for years and years and years, when fish get lost."

His brother Mark said "I think it's horrible. You can mess up, give us wrong stuff, wrong boxes. I guess this is how they treat bodies at the airport, which is a shame. If it was my family member, I'd really be broken up."