Daughter claims cemetery lost her father’s casket

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Sandi Vasel told CBS4 on Monday, Feb. 26 that her father's casket was found a row over from where it should have been.


WHITESTOWN, Ind. – A grieving daughter wants to know how a cemetery lost her father.

In 2006, Charles Bovenschen was buried at Lincoln Memory Gardens. He left behind his wife, Mary.  The Bovenschens wanted to be buried together and their family knew that.

This past week, Mary’s time came.  She was 88 years old. After the services, her daughter says cemetery staff told her there was a problem.

“I was kind of numb and I looked at her and I said what you’re telling me is you don’t know where my dad is. And she says, ‘Yes, that’s what I’m telling you is yes, we don’t know where your dad is,’” said Sandi Vasel, the couple's daughter.

Supposedly when cemetery workers dug up the plot to lay Mrs. Bovenschen, the spot was empty.

“They lost my dad. They don’t know where my dad is. He’s not there. He’s not in the grave,” said Vasel.

Officials told CBS4 new owners bought the cemetery in 2010, which was after Mr. Bovenschen, a Navy veteran died. Vasel doesn’t care who owns the place, she just wants them to find her father.

“(I) put winter blankets on the grave, put flowers on the grave, talked to him, and now it’s like I was talking to an empty grave,” said Vasel.

Vasel worries her father might be buried with a stranger and her family might not be the only one impacted.

“Their job is to protect their assets. Their assets are the people that are buried there and the family members and they didn’t do that,” said Vasel.

Vasel lost her father once and now she’s lost him again.  Until Mr. Bovenschen is found, his wife will continue to wait.

“I don’t know when, it could be tomorrow, it could be next week a month, who knows?”

A spokesperson with Lincoln Memory Gardens’ corporate office said they apologized to the family and are looking into the situation.

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