A grave was reopened Thursday morning at the Cheltenham Maryland Veteran's Cemetery after a family complained that workers may have mixed up a burial in early January.
The highly unusual event allowed the family of Lynta Giddens to confirm that Ms. Giddens was buried where workers said she was. The questions were raised by her widower Skip Giddens, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran.
The episode happened after the Giddens family complained to the Maryland Department of Veteran's Affairs that they were rushed through a memorial ceremony, not allowed to witness the burial and then saw workers apparently switching markers when they were questioned at the site.
An investigation launched by Maryland Secretary of Veteran's Affairs George W. Owings III is not yet complete.
Owings was with the family Thursday for the reburial of Ms. Giddens, who died of cancer. Her husband Skip plans to be buried with her.
According to the department's cemetery website, families are given 20 minutes to perform ceremonies and they may witness burials from walkways or roadsides. Graveside services are not accommodated.
The Giddens family told WUSA9 they were given seven minutes to perform a commitment ceremony and told they would not be allowed to witness the burial. When they visited the site afterwards to question workers, they said they witnessed workers switching markers and were then told to request a change of cemetery records.