Poorly maintained cemetery draws ire

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Take a walk through Lincoln Cemetery and you'll be shocked at what you see--waist high weeds, garbage strewn everywhere and grave stones in disarray.

"This is a mess," says Mark Thompson.

Thompson says his friend was just buried at the cemetery last week.

"This isn't what I expected for her...or where I expected her to be.  This just wasn't her.   And I think it's wrong."

The cemetery is a sight he says, "basically looks like a junkyard."

With such tall grass, visitors to the cemetery say it's hard to even find their loved ones' graves--making it even harder to enjoy visiting.  They say that's not the way it should be.

"I was going to put flowers on her grave, but I can't find her grave," adds Thompson.

It's not the first time WSFA 12 News has investigated complaints about the cemetery.

Back in 2001, we discovered broken grave stones, open graves and human bones exposed.

Again, we contacted the city trying to locate the owner, but to no avail.

The city says no one knows who owns the place.

They say from time to time, they have cut the weeds and sprayed the cemetery "because of health and safety issues for residents, and are continuing to try to resolve specific responsibility for this private property."

But folks like Thompson say occasional maintenance doesn't make tracking down his loved one's grave any easier.

"Death is hard enough, but then when you come to visit them again, and you have to deal with this...she would have been better off cremated and her ashes scattered somewhere than to be buried in a mess like this."

City leaders say they aren't taking responsibility for the cemetery because it is private property, but plan to cut grass on Wednesday.

They are actively working to find the owner.

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