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Same people labeled at two different graves

A mysterious story of mistaken identity at a local cemetery and the man who discovered it says he can't figure out how it could've happened. 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Someone call Scooby-Doo and the gang.

Elmwood Cemetery just outside of uptown has been here since 1853 and in that time a lot of grave stones have piled up. Enough, for a major error to occur.

Bill Bibby has been in charge of Charlotte's cemeteries for just one year and while touring through them, he's already seen plenty of spots where they need maintenance and upkeep.

"It just takes a lot of work, but once you get to the point where they're manageable then you can manage them much easier," Bibby said.

But Jeff Houser with the Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society made a discovery at Elmwood cemetery that might get moved to the top of Bibby's list.

"Really speechless as to how something like this could have occurred," Houser said.

Houser showed us a set of graves.

"We've got Cyril Smith here who moved to Charlotte in 1911 and his wife Leila," Houser said.

Then we drove to a different part of the cemetery, to the burial sites of George and Zoe Smith. There's only one problem.

"George and his wife Zoe are buried here, but as you can see by these two stones, they don't have George and Zoe's name on them," Houser said.

Instead, they once again say Cyril Smith and Leila Smith.

"I realized that there were two people with the same name buried in two separate sections of the cemetery," Houser said.

He says according to the cemetery burial ledger, George and Zoe are actually buried in these spots, but their stones are not there. The mishap gets even harder to explain when you look at the dates.

"George and Zoe passed away before Leila and Cyril," Houser said. "So these stones would've had to have been made after 1951 at least when Cyril died."

Even though George died in 1950 and Zoe in 1942. If that wasn't enough, according to the ledger, behind George and Zoe George's sister Addie's remains were buried in 1978. Houser says these incorrect stones with Cyril and Leila's names would've already been here by then.

"When somebody came to bury Addie's remains in the center of the plot, how did that not get noticed?" Houser said.

More than 65 years after they passed away, Houser says he's just hoping for George and Zoe to get their names in the right spot.

"It would be nice to have these folks identified with the correct stones at some point," Houser said.

Houser has reached out to family members of George and Zoe, but hasn't received a response.

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