Family members find loved one's headstone in pieces Easter weeke - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family members find loved one's headstone in pieces Easter weekend

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BRADLEY COUNTY -

More issues tonight surrounding a Cleveland cemetery. Family members who have loved ones laid to rest at Sunset Memorial Gardens say the conditions of the gravesites are heartbreaking. 
  
We've reported problems with the property before. A court order required owner Cecil Lawrence and his attorney to address and respond to 240 complaints regarding sanitary issues, filed with the state last year.

READ MORE | Sunset Memorial Gardens: "We think we've solved the problems"

For about three years, visitors reported odors in the mausoleum and at one point body fluid leaking from crypts. In February, the property passed a state inspection. 

Channel 3 has since learned a Clarksville man drove to Cleveland Easter weekend to visit his mother at Sunset Memorial Gardens. He and his dad say they looked for his mother's grave, but couldn't find it. Instead they found her headstone, lying near a shed in pieces.

 "I'm still pretty upset,  really aggravated," said Jeff Flora. "We walked up there and searched and searched and could not find it. I just happened to look over to my right and saw my name and I'm like 'oh my God.'" 

Jeff Flora and his dad Bobby say they couldn't believe their eyes. 

"It was laying in a pile of rocks with trash and garbage thrown around it," said Flora. 

The headstone for wife and mother, Wilma Flora, was supposed to be in place 2 months ago.

 "It's negligence and a disgrace to the dead," said Flora. 

They spent the day trying to make contact with Sunset Memorial Caretakers before returning to Clarksville. Without the marker, they were never able to locate Wilma's grave. 

"Our loved one's grave, couldn't even find it," said Jeff Flora. "I mean 430 mile round trip to decorate her grave and it's still not done."

Tisha Liner visited her grandfather's grave on Easter and says he too did not have a marker. 

"He has been without a marker for almost 7 months," said Liner. "It hurts, he was a good man, he deserves better than that."

She says shes made several calls and personal visits to the main office with no luck. 

"They told me they were trying to get work done outside while they had pretty days and I told them I understand that but we've had a tone of rain," said Liner.  

She says she has questions about the way her grandfather's crypt sits apart from all the others but she can't get answers. 

"Neal Liner, he was a very sweet man, he did a lot in the community for a lot of people. He ran a full service gas station for 40 years just sweet as he can be." said Liner. "It's hurtful there is no reasoning that families should have to be going through what they are going through, they go through enough with the loss."

A court order was issued last year, requiring the owner of the cemetery to address and respond to nearly 240 complaints filed with the state.
When we asked the office to respond to these new allegations on Tuesday, we we're told " no comment" and calls to Cecil Lawrence's attorney have not been returned. 

Jeff Flora says the cemetery sent him a photo of his mother's headstone sitting upright, after the picture was shared more than 500 times on social media.

Channel 3 also reached out to Ralph Buckner funeral home who helped gather complaints. His office says they've received 3 complaints about markers this week.

If you have any concerns about about a loved ones gravesite, they ask that you call District Attorney Stephen Crump's office. 
at: (423) 472-2179. 
 

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