When you want to see what’s inside a cemetery, the first thing you do is look for the body
Peter Weller and his family, including his mother, have lived in an unmarked grave at their family’s cemetery for more than 30 years.
But they’re now going public with the discovery.
Weller says he and his father, a retired dentist who now works as a carpenter, noticed something was missing in the ground over the weekend.
The family had been using the grave for their personal visits, but a few weeks ago they noticed that the metal box around the grave’s center had been removed, leaving behind a hole in the dirt that was too small for the grave to fit in.
The box was so small, Weller said, that he couldn’t make out what it was inside.
He and his dad decided to dig around the area.
“We wanted to see if we could find what we were looking for, and we found a hole and we couldn’t close it,” Weller told Business Insider.
“I mean, we could see a hole, but it was so tiny.
It was so microscopic.
We went down there and we had to dig out some of the dirt and we just had to put it in the box.”
The family was able to put together a picture of what they thought was the grave, which is on the same side of the cemetery as the one they found in 2016.
“It was a little bit smaller than the box and it was very tiny, so we didn’t really know what it looked like,” Welling said.
“So we went down and found a bunch of boxes, and then we realized it was a grave.”
The two men decided to take the box home and build their own memorial.
“When we got to the box, I had to use the screwdriver to push it out of the hole, and it wasn’t even close to being the same size as the box,” Wellers father said.
He also took some pictures of what he thought were the remains of his mother.
The next step was to find a person to be buried at the grave.
Wellers family had not considered a person who had died a possible candidate for the box.
“You know, there’s only two people in this country who are really buried in their own grave and you can’t bury your own person in that same grave,” he said.
Welling and his team have spent more than two months building a wooden structure for their memorial, which they call “The Box.”
They’re hoping to make it permanent and can’t wait to start using it.
“Our whole family loves it, we think it’s a beautiful piece of art, and to have a memorial that we can put in front of our house is something that will make us feel proud,” he told Business Insiders.
“The idea is to get it out and have people come up and say, ‘Hi, I’m the guy who made that.'”
The box has become something of a tourist attraction at the family’s property.
Wellering and his brother, Michael, have made more than 2,000 visits to the cemetery, including visits to where the family once stood and a cemetery employee who found the box when he was digging the grave himself.
The two have also had visitors come by and show their appreciation.
“They were kind of like family, they were just like they wanted to take a picture,” Michael Weller, who is the head of the family business, told BusinessInsiders.
He said the family has received many phone calls and emails from people who want to help with the project.
“Everybody wants to do it, they’re all out here working,” he added.
“If you see this, if you see what we have done, I think people want to be able to know it’s theirs, that they’ve found their dead loved one.”
The cemetery has received about 100,000 visitors per year, and the family plans to be open seven days a week to visitors.
“For them to come and come and be with us and help us build this thing, it just makes us so happy,” Michael told Businessinsiders.