Cemetery Owner Arrested For Burying Multiple People In Graves
(Bartlett, TN) The owner of Galilee Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Bartlett was arrested Friday for allegedly burying multiple bodies in the same graves without proper permission.
Jemar Lambert, 38, is charged with theft of property over $1,000 and abuse of a corpse.
The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office also executed a search warrant for burial records in the cemetery office.
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, which regulates cemetery and funeral home practices, filed a request for a temporary restraining order shutting down cemetery operations.
Last year we told you Lambert was indicted on charges of theft for reportedly selling burial plots on land not owned by the cemetery.
Joe Johnson is suing the cemetery after his daughter’s body could not be found in the cemetery after burial.
Paulette Shotwell’s mother, Dorothy, died this past summer.
She had retired from the Memphis Police Department, where she spent 35 years helping fight crime in our community.
Now her daughter has learned Dorothy became the victim of an unthinkable crime.
“One of the guys on the tractor said I’m just going to be honest with you. They buried your mother on top of somebody else”, said Shotwell.
Dorothy, who had bought six plots for her whole family, was stacked on top of another body.
She wanted to be buried next to her daughter, who died in a car accident years ago, but her daughter was buried on land not belonging to the cemetery and authorities had figured it out.
District Attorney General Amy Weirich said more burials were planned Saturday, but investigators have to figure out where the missing bodies are before they can do anything else.
“This cemetery is one of oldest in Shelby County and to families who have loved ones buried there it’s very emotional,” said Weirich.
That’s certainly the case for Dorothy’s family, which has no headstone and no information on where their mom is buried.
The District Attorney’s Office says a report indicates the cemetery improperly buried the remains of three different individuals in the same grave on March 9 and March 12 of last year.
Anyone with questions about the status of pre-need contracts or other consumer inquiries regarding Galilee can contact the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Burial Services Section at 615-741-5062.