I-Team: Zachary Public Cemetery not burying until further notice - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

I-Team: Zachary Public Cemetery not burying until further notice


In October, the 9News I-Team introduced you to Pearl Richardson's family. They said they could not find her burial location at the Zachary Public Cemetery. Her sister told the I-team after digging up four different locations, they found a white casket and said it was Richardson. Two months later, the I-team found a nameplate at that very location.

"We had not been notified if that was her body or not. They just put that there because they dug up a white casket, and they said it was her," said Richardson's sister Elevina Scott.

"I can't go out there and put flowers on their grave if I don't know where to go start looking at," said Renay Brown, whose father and brothers are buried at Zachary Public Cemetery.

Other concerns? Loved ones allegedly buried atop others or in another case, one person buried in two different locations.

So the I-team asked the Zachary Cemetery Board President Bobby Snowden some questions.

"Is it true that people are buried on top of each other?" asked WAFB's Kiran Chawla.

"No, that's not true," said Snowden. "Burial records are limited, I'll say it that way. We don't have an office. We don't have a staff. We're just a group of people who communicate from one to another concerning what takes place out there."

"Is this cemetery shut down?" asked Chawla.

"No it's open. We're burying people there all the time on a regular basis," said Snowden.

But according to a letter sent out to area funeral directors by Faith Stewart with the Zachary Public Cemetery on November 7, no new patrons will be buried there in November, December or until further notice. But there are some exceptions to that.

Plus, the I-Team reviewed copies of checks made out to the Zachary Public Cemetery in the amount of $600, $700 and more.

"How much do you charge for burials?" asked Chawla.

"For burials, we charge for opening and closing of the grave and a small sum for to maintain," said Snowden.

"How much is that?" asked Chawla.

'Umm, $600," said Snowden.

But then inside the meeting, Snowden changed his story telling loved ones, "Not a single plot in that cemetery since I've known anything about it has been sold."

While the meeting was heated at times, loved ones just want one thing.

"I want closure. I want to find my sister," said Scott.

The Attorney General and Louisiana Cemetery Board launched investigations after our story back in October. Both investigations are still ongoing.

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