‘Honor the dead for God’s sake’: Family heartbroken after seeing condition of Jackson cemetery

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 6:25 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A family is devastated after visiting their family cemetery plot in Jackson to bury their mother, only to find the cemetery unkempt and in ruin.

”There’s no way we could have left her here,” Tonya Forester said.

Forester and her family went to Rosemont Garden Memorial Cemetery on January 28 to bury their mother, Marsha Temple. However, they didn’t think they were going to walk into what looked like an abandoned cemetery.

“The grass was about knee-high here in this area. You could tell it had not been done in months, maybe a year. I mean, there are beer cans in a pile near the entrance,” Forester said.

On the day of the funeral, she said her brother found used needles lying around and many bronze pieces from graves and the mausoleums were torn off or missing.

Metal pieces vase is missing from grave stone.
Metal pieces vase is missing from grave stone.(Holly Emery)
Bronze name plates are ripped off and missing.
Bronze name plates are ripped off and missing. (Holly Emery)

Forester said she was so heartbroken over the owner’s actions at the site, she couldn’t go on with the funeral.

“He literally dug out two scoops of Earth and left us two shovels. It didn’t even have room for the vault. So I took my mom home. I didn’t want to leave her here,” Forester said.

The Temple family said after seeing the condition of the cemetery when they came to bury their mother, they don’t want to bury their loved ones here in the future.

“My nephew is buried out here. And my brother and sister-in-law are talking about having him exhumed and moved,” Forester said.

3 On Your Side also reported on vandalism at the same cemetery last June.

Forester said after her incident, she didn’t know who to call to ask for help - but now, she will file a formal complaint with the Secretary of State, in hopes no other families will experience what they have gone through.

“It is not fair that she spent that much money and still has no burial. No closure for her or me,” Forester said.

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