HAMDEN, CT (WTNH/CNN) - The family of George Johnson has visited what they believed was his grave in Hamden Plains Cemetery for 13 years.
But their sense of peace shattered recently when they found Johnson's headstone was moved over a new grave.
“I was freaking out,” said Michaela Fraiser, Johnson’s niece. “I was hurt at the same time because they moved it, you know, without letting nobody know. Why would y’all move it after 13 years?”
Johnson accidentally shot himself to death in 2006, leaving behind four children, according to family.
Now, their grief has multiplied many times over after exhuming Johnson grave only to find his body missing.
"I couldn't sleep,” Fraiser said. “I was, like, sick to my stomach. It hurts. It brings back memories."
These problems are not new at Hamden Plains Cemetery, a resting place now managed by U.S. Cemetery.
A spokesman blamed Johnson's lost body on sloppy record-keeping by previous graveyard handlers.
"If they're mistaking one person, it might be more out there," Frasier said.
U.S. Cemetery admitted to already digging up four graves in search of Johnson. There are at least two more to go, the company said.
"The last thing we want is for families to be under stress,” the company said. “We are following the paperwork that we inherited from the prior caretaker. We do believe we will find the casket in the area we are digging by next week. We will do everything we can make sure the family can rest at night."
"Once they find him that's when I feel like my family will have peace," Frasier said.