Bill Stephenson got the surprise of his life when he found someone’s ashes buried beneath his lawn.
The 70-year-old, who had lived at his house in Co Durham for the last 46 years, discovered a casket in his back garden containing the ashes of someone who had died in 2008.
“It’s frightened the life out of all of us – but how it’s got buried in the garden nobody knows,” he said. “Why would somebody bury their relatives remains in a stranger’s garden ?”
The box, which was only found when a gardener accidentally tore up some of the top soil, was fitted with a plaque engraved with the words “Thomas Lawson Cox, died 15th June 2008.”
“I have no knowledge of him whatsoever,” said Stephenson. “We have been looking at the deeds of the houses on the street and there’s nothing there.”
It was later revealed that the fourth wife of Mr Cox, who may have had possession of his remains, had moved in to a house on the same street back in 2011 and had lived there for two years.
It isn’t clear however if it was indeed her that buried the casket or why she would have chosen to do so in the garden of a complete stranger with no connection to her late husband.
Local authorities are now working on having the casket moved to a more appropriate resting place.