11 Graves Must Be Moved Because Of Mistake 45 Years Ago - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

11 Graves Must Be Moved Because Of Mistake 45 Years Ago

Posted: Updated:

by Adam Ghassemi

ELKTON, Ky. – When you bury a loved one, you expect them to have a final resting place. People in one small Kentucky town have realized some spots may not last forever. The city said their family members have to be dug up.

The city-owned Glenwood Cemetery is more than two centuries old. It's where Dennis Hampton's mother, father, brother and niece are buried.

"My sister actually bought five plots," he said Thursday.

Two years ago he got a call from city officials asking if the graves could be moved. They said the plots actually belong to someone else. The mistake wasn't discovered until 45 years later.

"They've been sharecroppers all their lives and they've had to run from farm to farm, house to house. They finally got a resting place. I want them to stay there," Hampton said.

In 2010, the city of Elkton starting using a computer program to map out the cemetery. That's when they discovered an error dating back to 1968 that put one person in the wrong place. Over the years the mistake made every other person after them get buried one row off.

To fix the problems, the remains of 11 people would have to be exhumed and reburied.  

"So really, the one problem started in 1968. Two months later it compounds, and then snowballs from there," said city attorney Jeffrey Traughber.

Traughber blamed it on human error that should have been caught before getting this far.

"You want those things not to occur, but today we've got the benefits of surveys and digital technology and things that can prevent that. Back then, you're basically talking about stepping it off and getting in what you hope to be the right spot – and it just wasn't," he said.

Traughter said the person who actually owns the one plot would like to be buried with her family, as well.

According to court documents, Sherrie Fischer, a trustee from the Shutts family, wants to be buried next to her parents, even if it means digging people up. Fischer nor her attorney could be reached for comment Thursday.

Last month, a Todd County judge ruled the plots belong to the Shutts trust and had to exhumed, meaning those other 10 plots also have to be moved. Without an appeal the exhuming process could begin in the next few months and cost the city as much as $1,000 dollars per grave.

Hampton said he worries they'll have to relive the agony of burying four family members all over again.

"They've been resting here this long. I don't want to see them disturbed," he said.

The impacted families may be working out a deal to only move some graves without having to move them all, Traughber said.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5AdamGhassemi 
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_AGhassemi 

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.