DALLAS (DFWCBS.COM) – A Dallas woman who’s been visiting her father’s grave for more than 20 years, was just recently told that’s not where her father is buried. “They say he’s up here four rows,” she said walking to the plot with effort.
It appears someone made a grave mistake. It only came to light, two months ago when the new headstone Johnson ordered wasn’t placed where she thought it should be.
“I told them they were wrong. And the woman told me I was wrong and they had a map. I said, Ma’am, I don’t care what your map says. I watched them cover him here.
I watched this dirt settle every day for six months,” Johnson said beginning to cry.
Vi Johnson had been visiting that site for 21 years. They had marked the grave with a handmade headstone which is not allowed at the site but had been overlooked by the previous caretaker.
morial Parks Cemetery.
Johnson’s husband, Robert Blanchard made the headstone himself. “I brought it out here right after he was buried and I put it on there,” he said, pointing to the gravesite where they believe James Walter Johnson is buried.
Could they have made a mistake back then?
“No,” he and Johnson said.
Though Johnson was the one in the family who always took pictures, she didn’t take any the day her father was buried. “I wasn’t thinking about pictures. So, I got landmarks. This tree here in the corner,” she said pointing to it. 21 years ago, it was just a shrub.
We asked Lincoln Memorial if this had ever happened before. Raymond Carroll, Lincoln’s Sales Manager said, “Maybe 4 or 5 times in 20 years.”
Were they ever wrong about where they’d placed a body?
“No,” he said.
Johnson and Blanchard moved the new headstone back to where they believed her father was buried. The cemetery has moved it back twice already. The next move may be to court.
Johnson says Lincoln told her in order to exhume the body, she’d need a court order or three thousand dollars. And, she says she doesn’t know how to get either.
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