Coffins Coming Up Out Of The Ground At Cemetery
Son Finds Exposed Coffins At Chicago Cemetery
Chicago, Illinois -- A man visiting his mother's grave at a Chicago cemetery said he found deplorable conditions.
"I run up on stuff like these here -- coffins pushed up to the side, all open, foul odors coming out," said Sidney Clark. "I'm seeing coffins open, I'm seeing a lot of dirt that has been moved -- the coffins are not even 3 feet in the ground."
Staff from WMAQ-TV in Chicago saw at least three wooden coffins sticking out of the dirt at Homewood Memorial Gardens, with the plastic-shrouded bodies visible inside. They reported that concrete burial vaults were clearly exposed as well.
On the ground on a hilltop, there were dozens of grave markers askew and stacked in rows. Clark said for three years, he's been trying to find his mother's grave, to no avail.
"If she was living, if she could talk to me now, she'd be glad I'm doing this right here," he said.
A representative of the cemetery tried to show Clark the approximate spot where his mother is buried, Rogers reported, but the grave was not marked.
As for the exposed coffins, maintenance man Rudy Casillas said he's in the process of layering the area where Cook County morgue bodies are buried in pauper's graves. He said after that, the grave markers will be restored to the ground above. Casillas also maintained that the coffins have only been exposed during that process.
"See, this is just erosion," Casillas said. "We have coyotes that come and just dig -- animals and stuff like that."
When Rogers asked if the three coffins he saw sticking out of the ground were buried, Casillas answered that they were.
Cook County Medical Examiner Edmund Donoghue, whose office buries about 30 people a month at Homewood Gardens, said he will send a representative to inspect what Rogers found. Clark's sister said she has retained a lawyer and wants her mother's body exhumed to determine exactly where it is.
The cemetery assured Clark that his mother is not in the area where the graves were found exposed, but Clark said he is not convinced.
"I think they are wrong -- totally wrong," Clark said, adding that he thinks his mother is buried in the area where the coffins were exposed.
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