Woman says cemetery buried her dad in the wrong plot, can't find him


WHITESTOWN, Ind. (WTHR) - When Sandi Vasel lost her 88-year-old mom Mary on Sunday, she took comfort knowing her parents would finally be together again.

"They were that couple," Vasel said.

Her parents who were married 60 years.

Vasel's dad Charles died 11 years ago.

Years earlier, Vasel says her parents made plans to be buried at Lincoln Memory Gardens in Whitestown.

"They picked out those plots years ago and they knew that they were going to be together when they passed," Vasel said.

That's what Vasel was expecting would happen this week after her mom's funeral.

But when the funeral was over, a funeral home employee said they had just learned of a “technical glitch” in a phone call from the cemetery.

“That's the term they used," Vasel remembered.

That glitch turned out to be a missing casket.

That's what the cemetery found when they opened up Vasel's dad's grave so they could bury his wife there.

"My dad's buried somewhere out there but I don't know where," she said.

"When they told me they didn't know where my dad was, it's like he died all over again," Vasel said.

Stonemar Partners, the company that owns the cemetery, has apologized to Vasel and her family. A spokesperson for the company told Eyewitness News they've launched an internal investigation. The company also said they did not own or operate the cemetery when Vasel's dad was buried.

"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.

She explained when her dad died, the ground was so muddy they did not have a graveside service, but could see the area dug up where he was going to go.

"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," said Vasel.

For now, her mom waits for her final resting place, which won't be known, says Vasel, until the cemetery finds her dad and her parents can be together like they always wanted.

"I wake up and I wonder 'this can't be true, they don't lose bodies. This is not right.’ But they do,” Vasal said.

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