Deputies in Plaquemines Parish help id bodies lost in Hurricane Isaac, family remains reunited

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 7:53pm

Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Deputies identified 134 bodies washed from their graves after Hurricane Isaac, but they still have 60 bodies left to id. Deputies were able to help Netiokee hill reunite with 3 generations of her family who were lost in the flood.

"I mean I don't know where they were for real honestly," Netiokee Hill, former Plaquemines Parish resident, described. "I don't know where they were. They got back where they belong. "

Netiokee Hill's mother, grandmother, and great grandfather were all buried at Promise Land Cemetery in Plaquemines Parish.

Flood waters from hurricane isaac washed their bodies away.

"When I came down here I didn't see nothing," Hill explained.

The east bank of the parish saw 15 feet of water.

194 bodies floated away from their graves.

"My mother was out there somewhere," Hill lost hope of ever finding her family.

"I felt heart broken like I relived my mothers passing all over again," Hill said."But, I cried in silence because it hurted."

She contacted the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office for help. Eventually Deputy Mark Mudge called Hill with good news.

"He told me that I know exactly where your relatives are and so forth," Hill exclaimed. "That meant a lot to me because this is a part of our history. "

Deputies teamed up with the LSU faces lab and helped reunite 134 families with their loved one's remains.

"They had debris in houses and caskets thrown through highway and as well as on top the levee," Commander Eric Becnel, with the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office, explained.

Deputies are still working to id 60 bodies. They need families to help figure out the last few identities.

"They may know what their family members tomb looks like or crypt. If they can say hey that's my family member that would help," Becnel explained.

After the storm deputies took several steps to make sure nothing like Isaac's aftermath happens again.

First they gave each body and grave a metal id tag to make it easier for deputies to match people.

Then they added metal straps to help anchor the tombs in place incase of another flood.

"These cable things right here are in the ground 36 inches 3 feet," Hill described. "I'm pretty safe with that. You know, I could sleep at night with that."

Hill is determined to make sure her family members finally rest in peace.

"Regardless of if another storm comes this is where, I will make sure as long as I have breath in my body I will make sure that this is where they will be. If they get moved. I will do the same thing that I did before all over again," Hill stated.

If someone you know could be affected by the flooding in Plaquemines Parish cemeteries call sheriff's deputies at 504-546-2525.

To see more of the devestation left behind after Hurricane Isaac in Plaquemines Parish click here.


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