07/18/2012 02:24 pm ET

Claudia Schmitt Finds Maggot-Covered Skull Next To Dead Mom's Grave In Germany

Claudia Schmitt held a funeral for her mother just three weeks ago, but now has to go through it again: the cemetery forgot to bury her mom's skull.

Schmitt, 48, of Cologne, Germany, noticed the grave error a few days ago when she went to tend her mother’s resting place.

When she bent down to check the flowers, she noticed a hard round object that she initially thought was a coconut.

It wasn't.

“There were also many worms and maggots," she told the German-language news site "And then when I saw a jawbone complete with teeth, I flipped out. Of course one had the terrible feeling that one had found the remains of one’s own mother.“

Schmitt and her brother, Harald, immediately reported the skull sighting to cemetery officials who were, as might be expected, embarrassed to death by the morbid mistake.

“Things like this can happen, but we can only apologise. The remains will be buried tomorrow in a separate funeral,” a cemetery spokesman told

Amazingly, there is a bright side to the grave situation: Schmitt had intended to take her 82-year-old father with her to his wife's headstone, but he stayed home because it was raining.

This isn't the only example of cemetery shenanigans that have happened in recent months.

Around July 4, officials at a cemetery in Hudson, New York noticed that American flags were disappearing from the graves of Civil War veterans.

The flag nappings weren't caused by anti-war protesters, but by groundhogs who enjoyed chewing the wooden flagpoles.

And in May, a family in Los Angeles sued a mortuary over a body switch that resulted in a grandmother being buried in another woman's clothes in a California. The body was supposed to be buried at an above-ground crypt in Nicaragua.