LIFE

Man Finds Stranger’s Gravestone From 1934, Then Discovers He Was Buried Thousands Of Miles Away

by Ann-Sophie Kaemmerle
Native New Yorker, University of Virginia graduate, runner, and sometimes stand-up performer.

It may come as a surprise to many that gravestones are quite often found in places where they would normally not be, such as the basement of a house or by the side of the road.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the folks who have passed away don’t have headstones to mark their graves. But because that’s a definite possibility, the people who find these markers can be quite adamant about finding the resting place and returning the gravestone.

So when that very thing happened to Ron Tarasiewicz — who found one facedown in the dirt in 2015 — he made it his mission to find out where J.L. Crecelius was buried. 

But with so little information (only a name and years of birth and death), Ron spent five years searching but with no result.

That’s when he turned to CBS13 for help.

J.L. Crecelius, who was born in 1858 and died in 1934, didn’t appear to be buried in California. Rather, he was in South Dakota.

Then came the task of tracking down the family, which took the investigation back to California: where J.L. Crecelius’s son, Hiram, had moved during the Great Depression.

Decades ago, the mystery tombstone had been saved from a fire that took the life one of the family members. Chances are, it was lost soon after that.

But now, it has finally been returned to J.L.’s great-granddaughter.

Watch the clip below to see the interesting way investigators traced this family tree in order to set things right with the tombstone!

Please SHARE if this inspired you to revisit your family tree!

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