Mystery surrounds who is buried at Carlsbad cemetery

Posted at: 10/30/2013 6:50 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s a long-time mystery at a Carlsbad cemetery.  No one knows who or just how many people are buried there.  KOB Eyewitness News 4 found out what the locals think about what lies beneath.

Hundreds of people are believed to be buried in a cemetery outside Carlsbad.  But for the most part, no one knows who they are.

There are only four tombstones in the cemetery; they date back to the early 1900’s.

“In 1918 people were dying left and right including my grandparents, died about a week or two apart," said Casimiro G. Hernandez.

Hernandez said his grandfather is buried here, but he doesn’t know exactly where.

“We wish we would know that but we don't," said Hernandez.

Records from former cemetery caretakers said around 500 people are buried here, but even that is only an estimate.

According to the historic sign out front, “It is said that the deadly worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918 virtually wiped out the community.”

Locals have nicknamed it the “Mexican Cemetery.”

“Because there's a lot of Mexicans buried here.  I’m not sure that's where the name came from because there's a lot of Mexicans buried here and you know this part of the country used to be part of Mexico," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said his father used to care for the cemetery.

“There was just open country, there was cattle grazing on this part of the cemetery,” said Hernandez.

Since then the cemetery has been enclosed by a fence, but besides these four headstones everything else in this graveyard is a mystery.

Eddy County has now taken over the cemetery.  The county has started records for about 100 people who may be buried there.  But those records are only based on accounts from family members who think their loved one’s remains are there.