WEST BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A family on Long Island is asking how a stranger could be buried in their loved one’s grave.
It was a heartbreaking sight as gravediggers worked to disinter a body mistakenly buried in the plot meant for Jack Krimsky, a beloved 100-year-old World War II veteran, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.READ MORE: 'West Side Story' Returns To Paterson For Special Screening
“We want answers. It’s horrible. We can’t grieve. We can’t have Shiva. We can’t console one another until he is buried,” granddaughter Whitney Rubin said.
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan spent Friday searching for answers at Beth Moses Cemetery in West Babylon. She knocked, rang doorbells and saw managers within avoiding her.
“I was hoping to be buzzed in, please,” she said.
“Absolutely not. This is private property,” someone at the funeral home said.
“We are trying to find out if you have any words for the family of Jack Krimsky,” McLogan said.
“This is private property. You have to leave,” they said.
“The funeral director from the chapel called me out and she said, ‘They buried somebody in your father’s gave. We can’t do the funeral,'” said Roni Rubin, Krimsky’s daughter.
The family spent more than $300,000 over the last half century for 18 plots in one area of the cemetery.
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“He was a wonderful man. He was supposed to have military honors,” said Dr. Jeffrey Krimsky, Jack Krimsky’s son.
Who is accountable?
McLogan next tried the phone.
“Can you tell us how it happened?” McLogan asked.
“No, I cannot. I’m sorry,” she was told.
“Can you tell us who is buried there?” McLogan asked.
“I cannot. Have a nice day. Thank you,” they said.
The cemetery finally called the family to say the woman wrongly buried in Krimsky’s plot is being exhumed and moved to her nearby final resting place within Beth Moses Cemetery in a “private religious process.”
Suffolk’s health department explained it does not need to be present for the plot transfer because it is within cemetery grounds, but Beth Moses is obligated to alert the state to its error.
“They had to take him back from Long Island to New Jersey to put him back in a refrigerator. Do you know how I feel, that my dad is in a refrigerator?” Roni Rubin said.MORE NEWS: Police: Burglar Steals From Brooklyn Synagogue 3 Times
Dozens of family members flew in for the funeral, now delayed by days, religious upheaval for a grieving family and an Army Corps sergeant who deserved honor.