Tombstone found on houseboat


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.

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