August 20, 2010 / 5:09 PM / 9 years ago

Woman buries brother, discovers dead son

PARIS (Reuters) - A French woman discovered her 42-year-old son had been buried in the same cemetery where she was attending her brother’s funeral, after she had tried to invite him to the ceremony, a newspaper said Friday.

The family were leaving the cemetery near Lille, Wednesday when one of them noticed a temporary wooden gravestone bearing the son’s name and date of birth in an area reserved for poor people.

“In two or three seconds, everybody started to scream,” the man’s father Elie Langlet told La Voix du Nord newspaper. “Josiane (the mother) collapsed. She buries her brother and finds her kid in a grave near him. It’s unthinkable,” he said.

The local council confirmed the father of one, Olivier, had died on July 5 from natural causes.

Josiane Vermeersch said she had tried to contact her son a few days before to invite him to his uncle’s funeral, to no avail, and had thought he was ignoring her after a row.

“Someone hasn’t done their job,” she told news channel I-Tele. “I demand explanations,” Vermeersch said, adding it was unbelievable in a time of modern technology that nobody had attempted to contact the family.

Citing the funeral parlor that buried the man, the newspaper said it was not uncommon for families not to be informed if there is no immediate contact address.

French law stipulates that a burial must take place within six days of a death.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Nina Chestney

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