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Families bring graveyard fight to Zachary city council

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 7:37pm

Elvena Scott was forced to say an early good-bye to her sister Pearl almost two years ago. But she said dealing with her sister's death was made much more painful by the management of the Zachary Public Cemetery. She said when it came time to lay a head stone on her sister's grave her problems had only just begun.

"You know my cousin and my mother was asking him did he know where the body was and he told them, 'no.' that was their job to keep up where the body was," Scott explained.

So Scott and her mother Barbara got advocate Carolyn Jacobi involved, but the problems didn't stop there.

"Soon as we meet them out there they just dig up a half of a casket in a spot and say, 'ok that's her.' and it was a white casket. How many white caskets do they have in that cemetery? We don't know if that's our loved one or not," Scott added.

"We dug four different locations because of their improper record keeping, and finally they say there she is. I won't take it, I won't buy it," Jacobi stated.

The Scott family said not knowing he final resting place they say is almost as painful as losing her for the first time."

"You do want to know where your family is, regardless of whether they're dead. That's still a part of you in the ground. And you still want to know where they are, no matter what nobody say," Barbara Scott said, close to tears.

Jacobi isn't going down with out a fight though she's come across the country to Zachary to take the issue before the City Council Tuesday night. She said she also plans to take the list of complaints to the Attorney General’s office and the Louisiana Cemetery board.

"Once I talk to them, and once I give them a video tape that we have which is in-depth. They will begin to weigh their conscience and do something,” Jacobi said.

We reached out to the owners of the cemetery for their comments, but several calls to the management weren't returned.

Jacobi said the list of complaints include broken vaults where remains are visible, portions of cadavers visible, shallow graves in violation of state law and a lack of record keeping.
 

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