Women upset over grave mixup

Women upset over cemetery grave mixup

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Two local women have filed complaints with the state cemetery board over a mixup they say was caused by the owner of the Thomas Chapel Cemetery in Baker. The women claim the owner Leroy Thomas incorrectly identified grave sites that resulted in the wrong headstone being placed on one of the graves.

Geraldine Harris says she fastened a marble headstone on her mother's grave about a year and a half ago. She adds Thomas assured her with a chart the grave was where her mother had been laid to rest.

“That was my purpose for calling him to meet me out here to make sure before I came out and put this down here. Why would anyone do that?” Harris asked. “That was all I had. That’s my mother.”

Harris now wonders where her mother's grave actually is after receiving a call from LaSonya Byrd who told her the headstone was placed on her mother’s grave.

“It's so upsetting to me because my mother was my best friend,” said Byrd.

Byrd says when she noticed the headstone she immediately called Thomas who explained to her he had no idea who had fastened the headstone to the grave. Byrd adds she called the monument company herself to find out it was Harris that had purchased the plaque.

“I'm thinking my mother is resting in peace and here it is she has somebody else's name so I’m pretty sure she's not resting in peace because she's wondering what's going on. It’s just sad,” said Byrd.

9News contacted Thomas on his cell phone several times Thursday and left a message. Harris and Byrd say their calls to Thomas have gone unanswered but add the mistake needs to be corrected.

“I'm hurt as well but my heart goes out to her family as well because now they have to find where their loved one is,” said Byrd.

Byrd and Harris also wonder if this is an oversight that has happened before.

“What did we pay for?” asked Byrd. “I'm not understanding. If that was the case I guess we could just dig our own graves and put loved ones there. At least we know where we put them.”

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