Family questions state of graves at Whitehaven cemetery

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Every day, cars rush down Horn Lake Road past New Park Cemetery. But inside, life is slower on this hallowed ground.

“It's hard still. We're in year four, still trying to get forward," Aquavia Turner said.

Turner’s baby girl was just four months old when she died.

"Buried her April 26, 2014," Turner said.

That’s tough enough, but when she came to visit baby Ja’Liyah this weekend, something was even tougher.

“This is where they moved my granddaughter’s headstone," said Mikah Thomas, the baby's grandmother.

“I just want to know where my baby is and if she’s in the correct spot," Turner said.

WREG contacted New Park Cemetery. The general manager said the headstone was never moved.

But in the grandmother's Facebook video from Sunday, you can see there's only grass behind the headstone.

On Tuesday, WREG took video showing fresh dirt around the headstone and a metal circle with the number "860" pushed in to the ground behind it.

Management said it happened because they cleaned the area.

“It was under the ground. We dug the ground by using a metal detector to track it and remove the topsoil to expose the disc," the manager said.

Turner said she doesn't trust her daughter’s grave is in the same place as the headstone. The owners assured WREG the headstone is in the same place.

But Turner also hoped they'd learn to keep the cemetery more presentable to honor the souls buried below.

The state fined New Park Cemetery $1,000 in August for failing to maintain the grounds in a separate incident. A WREG public records request also found the cemetery has a long list of complaints against it dating back to the 1990s.


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