Nearly 100 loved ones showed up to the East End cemetery to pay their respects.
When they pulled in, they tell CBS 6 News there was no prepared gravesite and no hole to bury their loved one. Many were confused, thinking they were on the wrong side of the cemetery.
“My heart is weighing heavy now,” said Alicia Brown; Glenda White was her aunt, but raised her like a daughter. “It’s too much.”
White’s daughter Ann tells CBS 6 News she’s still in shock about what happened.
White and her family members say they’re far from satisfied with the service they got Monday after paying Chiles Funeral Home to take care of her mom’s funeral and burial.
Family spokesperson Arlene Beamon says the whole thing is unbelievable.
“We got here and the undertaker stopped, he looked around,” Beamon recalled. “He had to tell all the people that we have to take the body back to the funeral home.”
She said that it was hard on the family to return to the cemetery two days later.
CBS 6 News contacted Paul Matthews with Chiles Funeral Home. He explained that their company notified Evergreen in advance to prepare a grave.
In a statement, Matthews said:
“We are profoundly saddened by the additional stress being levied upon the family of Ms. Glenda White, and understand their level of frustration. We have and will continue to work together with the family regarding Evergreen Cemetery to remedy this very unfortunate situation.”
We reached out to folks at the Evergreen Cemetery. Russell Harris spoke on camera, and his account is different than Matthews.
“We were not notified about the funeral,” Harris said. “We got the information the following day.”
He said what happened “was a lack of communication with the funeral home,” and that he sympathizes with the family.
“I think what they should do is take responsibility and say they made a mistake,” Harris said. “To just shift the weight to someone else, is not a fair deal.”
“Like I said, it wasn’t our fault,” Harris emphasized.
Harris confirmed that Wednesday they were able to cut the grass and get Ms. White’s grave site prepared for her burial.
Thursday our CBS 6 cameras were at Evergreen cemetery when a Chiles funeral home worker stopped to mark Ms. White’s grave with a temporary marker.
The family became upset once again when the worker left without completing the task. He left because he didn’t know where Ms. White was buried.
Harris tells CBS 6 News after that Chiles funeral home worker left, he contacted the cemetery who agreed to mark the woman’s grave site.
“All the stuff we’ve been through, something needs to be done,” Brown said.
Matthews tells CBS 6 News their funeral home was hired to perform a service and they did. He says at this point, there’s no plan to reimburse the family.