CALL 6: Woman discovers father's casket is missing over a decade after his death

WHITESTOWN, Ind. -- An investigation is underway in Whitestown after a casket went missing at Lincoln Memory Gardens.

"My initial reaction is shock. I just didn't see a thing -- and I walked away. I had to tell the family that Dad was missing. His casket wasn't there," said Sandi Vasel, daughter.

Charles Bovenschen passed away in 2006. When his wife Mary died on Feb. 18, the plan was for them to buried together.

"When they opened the grave, they didn't find the shelf. The shelf would have been above my dad's casket to lay my mother on. What you're telling me is that my dad is not there? You don't know where my dad is at? 'Yes, we don't know where your dad is at. We don't know where he's at,'" said Vasel.

The troubling discovery could be the result of the business practices of the previous cemetery operator which oversaw several sites including Lincoln Memory Gardens.

Call 6 Investigates spent weeks in 2008 detailing customer complaints which led to state action.

A spokesperson for the cemetery released a statement about the missing casket that said:

"We deeply apologize to the family and have immediately launched an internal investigation into the matter"

"I want them to find my dad. They need to find my dad. They need to do it soon," said Vasel.

The State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service can't take any action on this or anything else until it receives a complaint.

If something like this should happen to you, talk to the cemetery management.  You also need to file a complaint with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General Consumer Protection Division to trigger a review. 

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