How should you go about picking a cemetery for a loved one?

Durham County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – More concerns are coming up after a CBS 17 report on a back-filled grave.

A family who went to visit their loved one at Glennview Memorial Park in Durham was upset with what they found at the gravesite.

“It was terrible,” Yolanda Easter described of losing her daughter Betty. “She loved life. She loved people. She was loved by a lot of people.”

The grief sank deeper when the 30-year-old’s family saw what her grave looked like nearly three months after her burial. It was unmarked next to a large pile of dirt and boards.

“It’s very disrespectful. Very disrespectful. Not only to her but to her family and friend,s too,” said Easter.

The grounds supervisor at Glennview Memorial park told CBS 17 weather caused a delay in the grave settling.

The dirt pile next to it is from back-filling.

There are more than 30,000 cemeteries in North Carolina. Glennview Memorial Park is one of 175 cemeteries in the state that are regulated by the North Carolina Cemetery Commission.

The commission is an authoritative body to uphold laws and standards.

A commission spokesperson said maintenance and upkeep of the property is their most common complaint. They receive an average of 50 to 65 complaints a year.

Once their office receives a complaint, they issue a letter to the cemetery and the cemetery has 20 business days to respond. The matter could be resolved in as early as a week, but can take up to five, on average, according to the spokesperson.

However, tens of thousands of cemeteries aren’t regulated by the commission, like veteran cemeteries or ones operated by churches, the city, or privately owned.

“This is a really tough time for people and they’re making one of the largest purchases they’ll ever make at this time,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, the CEO of the Eastern North Carolina Better Business Bureau.

The BBB recommends thinking ahead and seeing what guidelines are in place with cemeteries you’re considering.

“We really encourage people to do their research ahead of time if possible,” said Wojciechowski. “That way, you can take the burden off someone else. You’re also able to compare prices that way, review agreements that time, rather than having to do it at the time of the incident.”

The BBB also recommends reading reviews on its website to compare them and see how the cemeteries responded.

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