Grave mistake: Family claims company mixed up deceased parents' names on tombstone

A Perry County family claims a company mistakenly switched their deceased parents' names on a tombstone and have yet to fix it more than a decade later. (WSYX/WTTE)

A Perry County family said they're haunted by a mistake made decades ago.

They claim their parents final resting place is marred by a mistake on the grave marker.

"This is ridiculous," said Floyd Thorp. "It ain't right. It's not what they paid for."

Thorp says David Brown, of the Murray City Monument Company, sold his mother a grave monument back in 1995.

He said a copy of the original photo template from Murray City Monuments showed his stepfather, Jesse Moyer's name was supposed to be on the left side. Thorp's mom. Beatrice, was to be on the right; his stepfather, Jesse's name, was to be on the left.

It was correct on the first grave marker that was made, but Beatrice didn't like the two toned stone and sent it back. Thorp says when the replacement stone arrived, the names were switched.

"They're in the ground right," said Thorp. "But the stone ain't right."

He says no one noticed the name change until Beatrice passed away in 2004. Floyd claims the family has been trying to get it changed for years.

"My daughter Kathy rode down with me," he said. "We got back with him, and his reply was she requested to have this headstone changed. (He said) we can turn the headstone around, and then he looks at me and said 'we should have buried them different.' In other words, we should have buried them different to accommodate his mistake!"

ABC 6/FOX 28 went looking for David Brown to get his side of the story. We tried Brown's Murray City Funeral Home and were told we could find Brown at his funeral home in Logan, in Hocking County.

When we got there, we were given the name of Brown's lawyer in Nelsonville, in Athens County.

When we got to Nelsonville, attorney Mike Nolan refused to come out of his office. He instead gave his assistant a statement, which said the names on the replacement stone were reversed at the instruction of the Moyers so that Jesse would be buried on the right side and Beatrice would be buried on the left.

It goes on to say neither Jesse nor Beatrice contacted the monument company after its placement.

ABC 6/FOX 28 emailed Nolan, asking to see any paperwork the couple signed which changed their original wishes. Instead of documents, Nolan sent back two pictures of the monument, plus a picture of Jesse Moyer's veteran's marker that had nothing to do with the case.

He also claimed Brown followed the couple's expressed instructions as to where the names were located, and that he was closing the file in the matter.

Thorp said that doesn't answer anything.

"Just make it right," said Thorp.

"That's all we're asking. Just make it right Mr. Brown, please."

Consumer experts there are ways to protect your interests. You should insist that any promise made to you be in writing on the company's stationary, and signed by a manager.

You should also find out about any cancellation or refund policies, and get them in writing as well.

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