Mark Arabia owns the Pets Plus store in northeast Philadelphia, where the mix-up was discovered Tuesday. He says he learned the body was that of a 65-year-old San Diego-area man who died of early onset Alzheimer's disease.
The body was supposed to go to a research laboratory in Allentown, a 70-mile drive away.
US Airways Inc. released a statement saying the air cargo problem was caused by a "verbal miscommunication between a delivery driver and the cargo representative." The Tempe, Ariz.-based airline says it's deeply sorry.
The fish were shipped in three boxes. The corpse was shipped in a wooden coffin wrapped in cardboard.
Arabia says the fish were left at the airport and probably died.