Missing tombstone, found 50 years later

Posted at 12:14 PM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-23 15:14:21-04

Carl Seligman was born April 24, 1897 and died less than 7 months later.

But this toddler, that has yet to be found in old family pictures, lived quite the adventure.

He was buried in the Traver Cemetery, just north of Visalia near Dinuba in November of 1897, where he remained until the 1960's.

His family was notified that the cemetary was going to be moved, and they needed permission to remove Carl and bury him in a new location.

That was the last anyone saw of him.

It would be 50 years later, in a dry river bed or wash in western Kern County, that an unknown person reportedly found his tombstone and took it to the Kern County Sheriff's substation in Buttonwillow.

It remained in the offices for several years as investigators tried to trace it's origins.

Sgt. Martin Downs took over the search which led him to extended family at the University of Texas, who then got him in contact with Cookie Gover back in Bakersfield.

Carl is Cookie's Great Uncle, and a person that she has been in search of for years.

The only record she had of his existence was an old faded photograph of the headstone.

Now, thanks to Martin, she has the tombstone itself.

Cookie worked out an agreement that will allow Carl to be laid to rest, again, this time near his parents, Emil and Anna Seligman in the Smith Mountain cemetery in Dinuba.

Died in the 1800's, lost in the 1900's, now laid to rest in 2016.

Lost, but never forgotten.