WHITESTOWN, Ind. — An Indiana woman is angry after learning her father’s casket is missing from his gravesite, WISH reported.
Mary Helen Samson Bovenschen died Feb. 18 at the age of 88. She was to buried next to her husband, Charles Bovenschen, who died Nov. 4, 2006 at age 80. But the couple’s daughter, Sandi Vasel, was stunned when speaking to a funeral home employee after her mother’s service Wednesday at Lincoln Memory Gardens in Whitestown. The employee told her that cemetery officials had encountered a “technical glitch,” WTHR reported.
“They lost my dad. They don’t know where my dad is. He’s not there. He’s not in the grave,” Vasel told WXIN.
Charles Bovenschen’s casket was not in the family plot because of the glitch, and cemetery officials were at a loss to explain why.
“That’s the term they used,” Vasel said. “I thought the technical glitch was because it was too muddy.”
The cemetery had moved Mary Bovenschen’s service into the mausoleum area of the facility, WISH reported. After the service, Vasel learned that her father’s remains were missing.
“I stood there for a minute and I said, ‘So, what you’re telling me is you don’t know where my dad’s at.’ She (official) said, ‘No, we don’t.’
“I froze. I completely just froze.”
The Bovenschens were married on Aug. 16, 1946, and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary three months before Charles’ death.
They bought a plot at Lincoln Memory Gardens, and that was where Charles was supposed to be buried.
Vasel said that when her father died, the ground was so muddy that there could not be a graveside service. However, the family did see the area where he was supposed to be buried, WTHR reported.
Apparently, he wasn’t buried there.
“I know mistakes get made, but when you’re talking about the remains of a loved one, I think you need to be vigilant on putting them where they belong,” Vasel said.
The cemetery was sold to Stonemar Partners in 2010. A company spokesman said they have apologized to Vasel and her family and are launching an internal investigation, WTHR reported.
“You’re grief-stricken, you’re putting your loved one in the ground. You don’t think to make sure it’s the right hole,” Vasel told WTHR.
Mary Bovenschen’s final resting place has been put on hold until cemetery officials can locate her husband’s casket, WTHR reported.