IMAGE: Cemetery

Families are horrified over the conditions at a Mid-Michigan cemetery.

Flooding, overgrown weeds, and broken or misplaced markers are just some of the issues families say plague Lovedale Memorial Cemetery in Burton.

Payments are being made by families to ensure their loved ones’ graves are being maintained but that work isn't being done.

Now lawmakers are getting involved.

“You're already sad coming in, you don’t want to leave being frustrated,” said Jennifer Brown.

But that’s exactly how families are leaving Lovedale Cemetery after witnessing what they call terrible conditions.

“My mother's underwater when it rains, and I got stuck in my truck coming in the first month that my husband died and I had to be towed out,” Brown said.

Brown visits the cemetery daily. Her husband Herbert Brown was buried in November of last year and she said it took months for the owner to place a headstone.

Brown and her children dug up the ground and placed their own, but some plots remain without headstones and can barely be seen. 

“As much money as you spend for these lots you would think that you would be honored to be here, not underground in water and not able to see your name,” she said.

Areas that look like a normal patch of grass have someone’s loved one underneath.

Representative Sheldon Neeley said, the owner of this cemetery owns many others throughout the state, but this one is in the poorest condition.

“There's some loopholes that he has slipped through,” Neeley said. “We are now trying to go through and close those loopholes so that we can try to monitor better these owners.”

We reached out to the owner, who says the company takes individual requests to fix grave sites and they are currently behind on those requests. They say, they plan to address all requests before the first snowfall.

But Neeley said, that there is a possibility of criminal activity.

“This has been left unmaintained so he’s receiving dollars for a service that he is not providing so that’s criminal in itself,” Neeley said.

As for Jennifer Brown, she's hoping for a change at her loved one’s final resting place.

“I hope that my mother's not floating in water anymore and I hope that I can afford to drive through and see my husband every day without any damages to my car,” she said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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