Missing Gravestone Found - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/13/06

Missing Gravestone Found

They've solved the mystery of a missing gravestone. A Savannah man thought it was stolen, but it turns out it was one big mistake. It's hard to imagine misplacing a 400-pound granite gravestone. But, that's what happened.

Neither the cemetery nor the monument company knew where it was. WTOC got involved, and now there is a new cemetery policy in place, and one family is resting a little easier.

Tuesday morning, Dale Canterbury went to visit his father's brand-new gravestone, but it wasn't there. "I'm just sad and I hope we can get to the bottom of this," he told us.

Hillcrest Abbey cemetery didn't know what happened, and Depue Monuments told Canterbury the gravestone had been installed. They even sent him pictures. So Canterbury called WTOC.

By Wednesday afternoon, the missing gravestone mystery was solved. Leonard Canterbury's resting place was properly marked.

"My family is happy," Canterbury told us. "It's allowing us to move on."

Hillcrest Abbey's family counselor, Diane Barrett, stumbled upon the gravestone a few hundred yards from where the monument company was supposed to place it in the ground.

"They placed it where they thought it went," she said. "Turned out to be the wrong spot. But it's in the right spot now."

She calls it a mistake which won't happen again. "When a vendor comes in, they will have to be escorted by a cemetery representative and we will take them to the right place."

"Mistakes happen," said Canterbury. "I make mistakes and fix them. They didn't even call me to tell me they had found the gravestone. I came here on my own and was pleasantly surprised."

Canterbury hopes now his family can rest in peace. "I feel my family and I can finally put this to rest, thanks to you and WTOC," he said. "We were getting the runaround, and you got involved, and there it is."

Hillcrest Abbey's new monument policy goes into effect immediately. They say this is the first time this kind of miscommunication has happened, and the stricter policy should make it the last time.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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