• Woman says someone was buried in plot purchased for her son


    HIGH SHOALS, N.C. - A local widow is demanding answers, asking why someone else was buried in her son's plot that she already bought.

    “I was devastated,” Lucille Birchfield said.

    Birchfield said she feels like her family is being separated in the one place where she expected them to stay together forever.

    “They should know where they are digging before they dig,” she said.

    Last week while visiting High Shoals Memorial Gardens, Birchfield said she discovered a new grave in the spot she purchased for her 42-year-old son.

    Her receipt is dated August 2000.

    But now there's a stranger with no headstone buried next to her son's wife, yards away from her husband.

    She said she also bought a plot for herself in the same area.

    “I want the family to stay together.  I don't want it scattered all over,” Birchfield said.

    Birchfield said it happened before.  She said in about 2004, the city placed someone else in that same plot.  She said the city admitted the error and the next day, they removed the coffin.

    “I don't want no trouble or anything.  I just want the body removed,” Birchfield said.

    Eyewitness News went to City Hall, where they manage the cemetery. The mayor and a councilman said the City Council discussed the matter Tuesday night and asked the city attorney to investigate.

    He talked to Eyewitness News by phone and said he has already talked to a trustee for the man buried there. He went on to say, "These things don't get remedied quickly."

    “I hate it for the other family, but it's not my fault,” Birchfield said.

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