Woman tries to verify family plots at embattled cemetery - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Woman tries to verify family plots at embattled cemetery

Becky Neal said her father bought eight plots at St. Stephens Cemetery back in 1980. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) Becky Neal said her father bought eight plots at St. Stephens Cemetery back in 1980. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Neal's granddaughter, Danielle Hendrickson, died on Monday. (Source: Family photo) Neal's granddaughter, Danielle Hendrickson, died on Monday. (Source: Family photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A woman is frustrated by the process she's been put through while trying to verify her family's plots at a Louisville cemetery.

Becky Neal claimed she has been trying to verify her family's eight plots at St. Stephens Cemetery on Preston Street since her granddaughter died suddenly on Monday.

>>> WATCH: Connie's report here

But Neal isn't the only person having issues with the cemetery. St. Stephens is currently facing a class action lawsuit as several families claim gross negligence, alleging a former cemetery caretaker buried loved ones in the wrong plots.

Neal said for the past two days she's been trying to get in touch with cemetery officials to make sure her families prepaid plots were still there so she could bury her granddaughter.

MORE ON WAVE3.COM
UPDATE: Traffic back open hours after highway wreck that killed pigs
No injuries reported after fire at Newburg Road apartment complex
Ice rink employees plead guilty to federal wire fraud charge

After getting no response, she called WAVE 3 News.

"She has no idea what to do next because she can't get past step one," Robin Thomas, a plaintiff in the lawsuit who is also volunteering to help other families like Neal’s, said.

Thomas said the only thing Neal should be doing is grieving her granddaughter Danielle Hendrickson, 25.

"She was wonderful and a good mother," Neal told WAVE 3 News of Hendrickson.

"This was a tragic loss, this was not expected it, it was very unexpected," Thomas added.

Instead of grieving, Neal said she's been trying to reach anyone at St. Stephens Cemetery. It's where her father bought eight plots for the family back in 1980, when her mother was buried there. Neal said even though she had the deed, she was concerned there might be problems after hearing about the Attorney General and LMPD investigations of the cemetery and its former caretaker.

 "She should be able to call up here, or walk up here if she wanted to and find someone in the office," Thomas said. "We called everybody. We called you guys because we couldn't get anybody to answer."

DOWNLOAD OUR APPS 
+ News app: Apple | Android
+ Weather app: Apple | Android

WAVE 3 News made several calls to reach Susan Settles, President of the St. Stephens Cemetery Association. She called back the afternoon of August 9 and said she's done a lot to right the cemetery's wrongs and would meet with Neal.

"I told you guys no cameras," Settles said on arrival to the cemetery.

After meeting with Neal in private, Settles said Neal's paperwork looked in order, and she would probe the plots to make sure no one else is buried there. But she told Neal she's not allowed to be on the property during the probe.

"I said 'she wants to be here when you probe her grave,' and she said, 'oh no, she can't be here,'" Thomas said of the meeting. "She owns those plots, you just can't go over there and probe her grave."

Thomas said Settles told her to call her attorney. Steve Brooks, attorney for the Kentucky Cemetery Association, said while there may not be a law on the books, he can't imagine why a cemetery would not allow a plot owner to be present when it's probed, unless they're afraid of finding something. 

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly