Tombstone found on houseboat

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April 23, 2008

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- A century-old tombstone found on a Charleston houseboat came from a cemetery in West Virginia and may have been missing for more than 60 years.

The (Charleston) Post and Courier reports a private investigator read the paper's story on Monday and used U.S. Census data to find the family of the boy, memorialized with the inscription: "Infant son of R.W. & E.J. Hypes."

Descendants of the family told the paper they think the boy was first buried in a family plot in Littlesburg, West Virginia, after he died in 1894, then moved to a nearby cemetery with their parents in 1953.

The family says the tombstone has probably been missing more than 60 years.

The boy would have been the great-uncle of 54-year-old Blaine Hype, who says the find has caused quite a stir.

The family plans to drive to South Carolina to retrieve the tombstone.

Police say they have no idea how the tombstone ended up in cabinet on the houseboat.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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