One of the nation's foremost authorities on neglected cemeteries was in Montgomery Wednesday because of a story that aired on WSFA. In May, News 12 told you about Lincoln Cemetery where graves are crumbling, exposing human remains. The problem is that nobody knows who owns it.
Carolyn Jacobi, founder of the non-profit group Eternal Justice , has fought to clean up cemeteries across the country. After hearing about our story, she brought her crusade to Alabama's state capital.
Jacobi toured Lincoln Cemetery, located on Harrison Street, where WSFA had found broken headstones, grave covers pushed aside, and human bones exposed. "No human being should be subjected to this for burial," she says. "And no family member should be subjected to this environment for coming out and memorializing a loved one. I am angry."
Jacobi says similar situations can be found across the country. That's why she's helped push through ant-neglect legislation in several states. Now, she's concentrating on Alabama. She's currently endorsing Birmingham Representative Eric Major's bill.
Major's proposal would make it illegal to abandon a cemetery and would place other regulations on the death care industry. It has been voted down twice by the state senate. Jacobi can't understand why. "I have a message for the senate," she says. "I am now educating consumers all over the state of Alabama that we will watch their voting record and those who vote against this bill will not be reelected. We will form that campaign together."
Meanwhile, Jacobi is continuing her search for the owner of Lincoln Cemetery. She says she believes the cemetery's owner has moved to Florida. But she still needs help. She says she wants to talk to anyone with connections to the property, especially those who have purchased plots recently.