Family wants St. Stephens plot probed before burial of granddaughter

Family wants St. Stephens plot probed before burial of granddaughter

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A grandmother is just trying to bury her grand-daughter, but her grief has been interrupted by frustration.

“It's unbelievable, it shouldn't be happening,” said Becky Neal. 

Neal doesn't know if she can bury her beloved 25-year-old granddaughter, Danielle, who died suddenly earlier this week, in a family plot she bought at St. Stephens Cemetery in 1980.  Neal said she’s afraid there might be issues, or that someone might already have been buried there. 

“I didn't want anything to go wrong,” Neal explained. 

Neal has the deed and all the paperwork to prove the lot is hers, but after an investigation by the Attorney General into the cemetery and a lawsuit filed against the cemetery's former caretakers, Neal is worried things could be messed up.      

“She can't even get the Cemetery Association to say 'is it okay to bury her there?' said Robin Thomas, who is listed as a plaintiff on the lawsuit. 

St. Stephens Cemetery has been under fire by several families. The lawsuit claims negligence by the former caretakers, resulting in lost headstones and lost bodies. 

Neal told WHAS11 News the current cemetery's association president, Susan Settles, has been hard to reach.

“She wouldn't answer my phone call yesterday. She didn't answer my phone call until today.”

Moments after Neal’s interview with WHAS11 News, Settles did show up. She told us to shut off our cameras and wouldn’t answer any questions, but we heard as she told Neal that they would probe the plot tomorrow, and told her not to come.

“I said, 'she wants to be here when you probe her grave.' [She said,] ‘Oh no, she can't be here, I'll probe it.’ Explained Thomas.  
           
Neal says she just wants her family to stay together. 

Neal said because of the uncertainty, they are holding off on funeral arrangements, leaving this grieving family hanging.  

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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