UPDATE: Mom of murder victim to get headstone - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Mom of murder victim to get headstone

Posted: Updated:
Casey Burgiss Casey Burgiss

Eight months after her son was found murdered, a Middle Valley woman is still waiting for his headstone to be finished.

After her story aired on Channel 3, a local supplier has come forward to help.

Karen Crawley paid in full for the stone to mark her son's grave, after he was shot and left for dead in a cave on Montlake Mountain.

"I go to his grave site all the time and it's empty," says Crawley.

A plastic frame marks the plot in the Harris Family Cemetery where Casey Burgiss is buried.

The 24-year-old had been missing for three months when police found his body.

"I tried to provide him with a beautiful stone with a picture that I could look at when I went there and it's not there," says Crawley.

Receipt records show Casey's mom purchased a headstone from Monuments By Design on Hixson Pike in January.

"$2,197.02 for the stone and we paid him in full the day we ordered the stone," says Crawley.

Now five months later, there's still no headstone.

"Every time I called it was a couple more weeks, a couple more weeks, a couple more weeks," Crawley says. "I think it's sad for anyone to take this kind of tragedy and not keep their word."

Bill Fairbanks did not want to go on camera but tells Channel 3 over the phone that his supplier filed bankruptcy, causing his business to lose the money two dozen families paid for stones.

The stones were lost too, leaving his business to come up with $30,000.

He went on to say in a written statement, "we are slowly recovering from the loss, but as I've explained to the Crawley's, it's taking time, more time than they or I would like.

We have never let one single family down in the 15 plus years we've been in business and I never will!"

But Crawley is tired of waiting.

Her son's murder trial is coming up, and she's ready to put this heartbreak behind her.

"I think that they should return my money, so I can go somewhere else," says Crawley.

Fairbanks says he still has about a dozen stones to finish, including Casey's.

He says his recession-impacted business can't afford to refund all those families.

Now a local supplier says he will help.

Fairbanks says after Crawley's story aired on Channel 3 a local supplier came forward to provide the materials needed to set Burgiss' stone.

They plan to have it finished and in place by Saturday.

The man accused of killing Casey Burgiss goes back to court this week for a trial date.

Crawley is hoping her son's grave will be complete before that trial.


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