13 Investigates Cemetery Problems Caught on Camera


YOU DURING THIS NEWSCAST.>>>TONIGHT YOU’RE ABOUT TO SEE NOW WHAT CEMETERY WORKERS HAVE BEEN DOING WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM GRIEVING FAMILIES. 13 INVESTIGATES DOCUMENTED THE ACTIVITY AT A HUGE LOCAL CEMETERY.>>WHAT’S BEEN CAUGHT ON CAMERA IS PROMPTING CHANGES. OUR BOB SAYS THOSE CHANGES IMPACT HUNDREDS OF GRAVE SITES.>>Reporter: A LIGHT SNOW AT THE CEMETERY LOOKS LIKE A SOFT BLANKET. BUT THAT THIN WHITE COATING CANNOT HIDE SOME BIG PROBLEMS.>>IT’S RIGHT HERE.>>Reporter: THROUGHOUT THIS 100-ACRE CEMETERY.>>THERE IT STILL IS.>>Reporter: PROBLEMS THEY’VE BEEN COMPLAIN BEING FOR MONTHS.>>IT’S A RANDOM HEAD STONE THAT’S BEEN LAYING HERE SINCE THE BEG BEN BEI BEG BEO BEF BED BEC BEM BEE BE.>>Reporter: THAT HEAD STONE IS SITTING RIGHT ON TOP OF A GRAVE WHERE STACY’S PARENTS ARE BURIED. A FINAL RESTING PLACE FOR RELIGIONER AND BONNIE WILLIAMS, ALSO WHERE THEY RECENTLY FOUND THE HEAD STONE OF DONALD MARKLIN AND HIS WIFE, WHO PASSED AWAY THREE MONTHS AGO.>>THIS DOESN’T BELONG HERE?>>NO. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT’S SUPPOSED TO GO. THEY’RE ALL OVER.>>Reporter: SHE’S RIGHT. ALL ACROSS FOREST LAWN MEMORIAL GARDENS, HEAD STONES MYSTERIOUSLY PLACED ON GRAVE SITES WHERE THEY DON’T BELONG. HENDRICKS ON OTHERS. POWELL THE DOUBLED UP ON THE GUNNS. HOLTON SITTING ON TROMYER. MARKING THE SAME GRAVE.>>I DON’T KNOW. IT’S NOT RIGHT.>>IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO ME. I DON’T UNDERSTAND.>>Reporter: THEY ALSO DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS. HOW CEMETERY WORKERS TREAT GRAVE SITES WHILE THEY OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY. STACY RECORDED THIS VIDEO A FEW WEEKS AGO WHEN SHE NOTICED THE BACKHOES DRIVING DIRECTLY OVER FOREST LAWN HEAD STONES. 13 INVESTIGATES ALSO SAW TIRE TRACKS ALL ACROSS THE CEMETERY. SOME OF THOSE TRACKS LEAD DIRECTLY OVER BRONZE AND GRANITE MARKERS, LEAVING MANY OF THEM WARPED AND CRACKED.>>YOU DON’T DO THAT. IT’S DIARESPECTFUL.>>Reporter: DRAINAGE PROBLEMS INSIDE THE CEMETERY HAVE LEFT OTHER HEAD STONES SUNKEN AND COVERED IN WATER OR MUD EVERY TIME IT RAINS OR SNOWS. NOT THE TYPE OF PLACE THEY WERE HOPING FOR WHEN THEY LAID HER PARENTS TO REST.>>IF YOU LOOK AROUND, IT’S A MESS. IT’S UNACCEPTABLE, DISRESPECTFUL.>>Reporter: EVEN THE CEMETERY AGREED.>>THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.>>Reporter: DW KELLY IS THE NEW GENERAL MANAGER AT FOREST LAWN. HE MET WITH THE BENNETTS AND 13 INVESTIGATES WHEN HE SAW OUR CAMERAS AT THE CEMETERY. HE SAID WHEN HIS GROUNDS CREWS ARE DIGGING AND FILLING GRAVES, THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO LAY DOWN PLYWOOD TO PROTECT THE GRAVE SITES. WE DID SEE SOME AREAS WHERE THAT’S HAPPENING. BUT KELLY ADMITTED IT’S NOT HAPPENING ENOUGH.>>IT DOESN’T ALWAYS HAPPEN WHEN THE BOARDS ARE PLACED IN THERE. MY GOAL GOING FORWARD IS TO MAKE SURE ON THIS PROPERTY WE BOARD IN ON EVERY GRAVE TO MAKE SURE THE INTEGRITY IS PROTECTED.>>Reporter: AS FAR AS HEAD STONES DUMPED ON OTHER GRAVE SITES –>>THAT SHOULDN’T HAPPEN.>>WHEN THE GRAVE IS OPENED FOR A BURIAL, THE STONE IS REMOVED AND IT’S SET TO THE SIDE. SO IN THIS CASE, IT SHOULD NOT BE RIGHT ON TOP OF THIS FAMILY’S SPACE. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SET OVER TO THE SIDE SO THAT CAN BE EASILY RECTIFIED WITH MY CREW.>>Reporter: THE CEMETERY PLEDGED TO FIX IT RIGHT AWAY.>>IT SHOULD NOT BE SITTING HERE. ABSOLUTELY. WE’LL GET IT MOVED TODAY.>>Reporter: GOOD NEWS FOR THE BENNETTS. BUT THEY WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ALL THE OTHER GRAVE SITES THAT HAVEN’T BEEN TREATED AS THEY SHOULD BE.>>IT’S UNACCEPTABLE. YOU DON’T TREAT THE DECEASED THAT WAY.>>Reporter: THE EXTRA GRAVE STONE HAS BEEN REMOVED. THE NEW GENERAL MANAGER AT FOREST LAWN TOLD ME HE’S WILLING TO MEET WITH EVERY FAMILY THAT HAS A CONCERN SO IT CAN BE ADDRESSED IMMEDIATELY. HE ALSO SAID HE’S HIRING NEW GROUNDS CREW, CHANGING MOWING PROCEDURES AND REPAIRING BROKEN HEAD STONES THROUGHOUT THE CEMETERY.>>THE THINGS YOU SAW AT FOREST LAWN SEEMED PRETTY UNUSUAL. ARE THESE PROBLEMS COMMON AT OTHER CEMETERIES?>>GOOD QUESTION. I ACTUALLY TALKED TO THE INDIANA CEMETERY ASSOCIATION. THE DIRECTOR THERE SAYS WHAT YOU JUST SAW IS IN HIS WORDS, PROBLEMATIC AND DISRESPECTFUL AND HE SAYS MOST CEMETERIES DO NOT DO THINGS LIKE THAT. WHAT HE DID SAY IS UNUSUAL IS THE FACT THAT WE HAVE NOT HAD ANY FROZEN GROUND WHICH REALLY CREATES A CHALLENGE FOR CEMETERIES. ALL THE MORE REASON, HE SAID, THAT CEMETERIES ABSOLUTELY MUST USE PLYWOOD OR OTHER PROTECTION TO PROTECT GRAVE MARKERS AND THE TURF UNTIL THINGS GET A LITTLE

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