Some fans of Kobe Bryant wanting to pay tribute to the Lakers legend have been doing so at the wrong grave site, a Southern California cemetery says.
“We can confirm that is not Kobe and Gianna’s resting place,” Ashley Bunton of Service Corporation International, which owns the cemetery, told the publication. “We cannot divulge any additional details as to where they are. But we can tell you that is not the correct location.”
The trouble reportedly started at Pacific View Memorial Park following a Daily Mail article that misidentified the grave site fans have been visiting as Bryant’s. The Mail’s report showed an unlabeled headstone in private plot at the cemetery that had been decorated with purple and gold flowers, seemingly hinting at the Lakers’ team colors.
However, the color choice of flowers, Bunton told USA Today, is coincidental. The plot reportedly belongs to another family, whom the cemetery did not identify publicly.
Bunton said that fans are disturbing family members of the person buried in that particular plot. That person was reportedly interred at the site in November.
“Others have actually run into the family members who’ve kind of shooed people away from that spot just because it’s disturbing the peace to the person interred there,” Bunton said.
Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, Calif. Death certificates for the Bryant and his daughter listed their final resting place as Pacific View Memorial Park, which is about a 10-minute drive away from their former home in Newport Coast.
The cemetery is home to the grave sites of a number of celebrities, including actor John Wayne, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, and former NFL star (and fellow Pennsylvania native) Rich Saul.
A public memorial is scheduled for Monday at the Staples Center.
Locally, tributes to Bryant have included memorials and ceremonies at Lower Merion High School, from which the Lakers star graduated in 1996. Additionally, a number of Philadelphia landmarks, including the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Boathouse Row, and the Wells Fargo Center, were lit up purple last month in honor of Bryant.