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FIRM REPRESENTS FAMILY IN LOCAL CEMETERY MIX-UP (WKRG.COM)

May 23, 2010

By Jessica Taloney

EIGHT MILE, Alabama - A local funeral home, cemetery and mortuary are at the center of a disturbing case involving an unidentified body.

The family of Bud Johnson Abrams obtained a court order from Circuit Court Judge Charles Graddick to exhume a body from the Whispering Pines Cemetery.
Investigators dug up the body Tuesday and confirmed what the family feared. The body buried in the plot that the cemetery claimed was Abrams' was not him.

"We don't know who it is," said Brian Duncan, an attorney representing the family. "It's a different casket, the body inside the casket is not identifiable."

Abrams died in September 2007, but his family did not have money to purchase a headstone. When they finally saved enough money, there was confusion over where Abrams was laid to rest in the cemetery.

"They went out there to see where the headstone was, and it wasn't where the funeral service was," said Duncan, explaining how the family first discovered the confusion. The headstone, according to Duncan, was placed on a gravesite 550 yards in the back of the cemetery.

It's a tragedy for the Abrams family who had to go through this, and now they don't even know where their father is buried, and it's a tragedy for whoever this is we just had to dig up because the cemetery did not take or keep good records of where they place people or they never placed them where they said they did," said Duncan.

News Five tried to reach Whispering Pines Cemetery, Hodges Chapel and Small's Mortuary, all of whom are named in a lawsuit, but as of Tuesday evening, no one returned our calls.

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