Man’s casket discovered missing from cemetery after wife’s death

Lincoln Memory Gardens in Whitestown, Indiana, is shown Feb. 23, 2018. (WISH Photo)

WHITESTOWN, Ind. (WISH) — A woman in Fishers is demanding answers from a local cemetery after learning her father’s casket is missing from his gravesite.

Sandi Vasel told 24-Hour News 8 she found out Wednesday right after her mother’s funeral service.

She said the cemetery told her they had a problem. Her parents wanted to be buried together, but when they dug up her father’s gravesite they couldn’t find his casket.

Her parents had a wonderful life together, married for 60 years, and decided their final resting place would be at Lincoln Memory Gardens in Whitestown.

“You know, it’s just wrong, but I almost felt I let my parents down by not making sure everything was done according to their plan,” she said.

She said the problem began when the cemetery told her they had a technical glitch for her mother’s funeral this week.

“I thought the technical glitch was because it was too muddy,” she said.

The cemetery moved the service into the mausoleum. She said someone from the cemetery asked to speak with her after the service.

“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 said, ‘No, we don’t,'” she said. “I froze. I completely just froze.”

Her father died from cancer in 2006, and she said she believes for all those years she’s been visiting an empty gravesite — and now her mother is still waiting to be buried.

“They deserve to be together,” she said.

Vasel said she’s worried about what this could mean for other families.

“What about the people that may have buried their loved ones there about the time my dad did did they get buried in the right places,” she said.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to Lincoln Memory Gardens. A spokesperson would not take questions, but gave us a statement saying, “We deeply apologize to the family and have launched an internal investigation into the matter.”

Vasel said the cemetery reassured her they would find her father, but the process could take some time.

They told her they still have to get permission from other families to dig up their gravesites so they can check.