Families Furious After Memorial Removed From Cemetery

Posted at 10:15 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 23:45:51-04

 A Clarksville cemetery has become a place of controversy after officials began removing memorial items from tombstones and grave markers in order to keep up with maintenance on the property.

Monday night, J.T. Luffman was on a scavenger hunt no parent would ever envy. He was searching for his unborn son's matchbox car  amidst a pile of stranger's personal effects.

"It means a lot to my wife, this was her first child she lost him," J.T. said.
One by one, families showed up at Resthaven Memorial Gardens - all looking for something different, but what they found was they all had the same feelings, in common.
"This is a disgrace," said Charles Harris whose wife is buried at Resthaven. 
This week the new owners in charge of Resthaven started removing items to help with cemetery mowing and upkeep. To help loved ones find their personal effect  they went so far as to write names of the bottom of everything removed.
"They didn't tell any of us we had to find out on Facebook," one patron said. 
The manager declined to go on camera but gave NewsChannel 5 a copy of the letter every plot owner receives when they bury someone here. The wording clearly states that items are left at "Owner's risk" and decorations must be in "vases only"
"That specific car is the most precious thing she wants," said J.T. who still hadn't found the matchbox car he was searching for.
J.T. understood rules must be enforced, but wondered if it had to be like this. 

To read the full policy click each page: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3.