Man says cemetery issues forced him to move parents’ bodies

Posted at 3:45 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 19:59:50-04

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WTVF) — Weeds covering headstones, and grave markers under mud. A place meant for mourning, is surrounded by controversy.

Issues at a Hopkinsville cemetery forced one man to exhume his parents’ bodies and move them to another location. Michael Walker moved his mom and dad from Green Hill Cemetery in Hopkinsville to the Veteran Cemetery in town.

"We could tell the place wasn’t being taken care of, and then other people got on the bandwagon, and it was just terrible conditions," said Walker.

He was one of several people noticing problems at the cemetery, things like broken headstones, and unkempt grounds. Eventually, he had enough.

"It should be a slap in his face that people would do that, and I’m not the only one, there have been many people that have been moved out of there," said Walker. " To me, it was a relief to get them out of that place, that’s how bad it was."

Linda McDonald said her husband's headstone is still missing. She's not sure what happened, and recently paid $3,000 to get a new one several weeks ago.

McDonald said, "Every time I come and see that it's not there, I get upset again."

NewsChannel5 took their concerns to owner Jason Strader who bought the cemetery in 2012.

"If the family's were wronged, I apologize, but without knowing all the issues those are the things I don't want to comment on," Strader said.

Strader blaims the former owners for mismanagement, and said he's limited in what he can say because of ongoing litigation.

"We spent seven years fixing what’s wrong, it’s always an ongoing project, until I get it to the point where I want my own mother to be here. It’s not perfect, and we’ve been striving for that," explained Strader.

He said things are starting to come together.

Jason continued saying, "We’ve been keeping this up out of our own pocket and now we finally have some of that relief coming in that we can touch; so things are changing with the appointment of the new trustee and the way it looks, it’s all coming together."

This is still developing.