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Owners claim ‘forgotten cemetery’ and initiate clean-up

PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Last month, a viewer contacted CBS 6 to report an abandoned cemetery in Petersburg.

The land has been so neglected that the headstones of the many veterans buried there are barely visible. The area is next to Blanford Cemetery, which is owned by the city, and Eastview Cemetery which is owned by Virginia Burial Supply.

It was unclear who owned the property when CBS 6 first started asking questions.

"When we bought the company in 2011, it was specifically told to us that was not part of the sale," said Rodney Banks, who works for Virginia Burial Supply.

After CBS 6's story aired, Banks said they contacted a surveyor to find out who the land belonged to. He said they were told it was actually part of Eastview Cemetery.

"Now that we found out that it is ours, we are going to keep the upkeep on it and do everything we can to get it nice and neat in here," said Banks.

The recent cleanup is welcome news for people like Randy Lofland and Donny Hicks who came out on Memorial Day to help clean it up.

"It's beautiful," said Hicks. "It looks 100% better."

"You want to fix the problem and not blame," said Lofland. "The folks, once they realized they owned the property, got here really quick."

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