BROWN COUNTY, Ind. — A burial on the wrong gravesite in Brown County is causing a headache and whirlwind of emotion for two families.
Back in the beginning of August, a Brown County woman named Margaret Stewart was buried at Unity Baptist Church Cemetery. Just last Friday, another family noticed it appeared someone had been buried on their family gravesite. They quickly learned Stewart had accidentally been buried here.
Sisters Verbie Camden and Christy Ward learned about this mix-up after a family member called while visiting their father Harold Fannin’s gravesite. On the headstone is also the name of Fannin’s wife, who is supposed to be buried next to him one day in the future.
“That’s clearly marked,” Christy described. “And those names aren’t even close. So, how does this happen?”
The two are baffled and devastated. They both said they are most disturbed because their 68-year-old mother could soon lose her battle with lung cancer, and is supposed to be buried next to her husband.
“We really don’t know how much longer she has,” Verbie said. “So if we wouldn’t have found out about this now, come time, we would’ve hit her vault and then have to do all of this research later.”
Christy and Verbie reached out to Stewart’s family when they heard the news. Brenda Badger is Stewart’s sister. She said she was unsettled by the issue when she first found out, but also feels like it may have been an honest mistake.
“It is very unfortunate,” Badger said. “I mean it’s kind of like a surgeon. What if a surgeon made a mistake and it altered the results of a surgery? They’d feel bad too, but stuff happens.”
Badger said she wants the issue resolved too, mostly for the other family’s sake. Christy and Verbie reached out to the cemetery to try and figure out what happened. The cemetery and funeral home told the pair that they were trying to fix the issue.
“We just want to get this resolved so it doesn’t happen to somebody else,” Verbie said.
“It needs to be for the other family involved, more so than us, but for everybody involved,” Badger added. “You just need to have the right body in the right spot.”
Verbie said she has also been added to the cemetery board since they first learned of the issue last week. She said she would make sure the problem never happens again. The two sisters said they would still like to see someone held accountable for the mistake.
FOX59/CBS4 reached out to the cemetery and the funeral home, but has not heard back. Meanwhile, Christy and Verbie said the cemetery is planning to have it all resolved by the end of the week.