MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It took nearly two years for Merdis Pewitt to get relief over the state of the mausoleum where her husband was laid to rest at Forest Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park’s South Memphis location.

Pewitt first called the Problem Solvers in early 2021. We stayed on top of her story the entire time.

When we looked with her, we saw the mausoleum was dirty and stained, with materials falling off and droopy yellow caution tape wrapped around the building.

“It makes me feel pretty bad because I’m going to be buried there and I want it to look right,” she said.

The WREG Problem Solvers then noticed a pattern: Tennessee regulators had fined Forest Hill’s owners, Pennsylvania-based StoneMor, for multiple issues just like this.

A representative told us they were on the case and that mausoleum work would start May 10, 2021. But that day came and went and nothing progressed.

“The side there is still missing at the top,” Pewitt said when we visited in June 2021.

In fact, a whole year went by and not much changed at the mausoleum as we learned more about problems at other StoneMor properties.

The Problem Solvers exposed a rat infestation at Forest Hill’s Whitten Road location where state officials said rats ate away at dead bodies being stored.

And then they exposed body leakage at the mausoleum at a StoneMor cemetery in Jackson, Tennessee caused by a broken air conditioner.

Christopher Bryant shared pictures of what he saw at the Jackson cemetery.

“I think they should’ve took care of it right then and there but they didn’t,” Bryant said.

Once the Problem Solvers started covering the issues, the Tennessee fines added up.

All the while, the company kept saying work would start on the mausoleum in South Memphis.

“They’ve been having all these boxes and stuff around. I said when is it going to get started?” Pewitt said in June 2022.

StoneMor marketing official said the work got delayed due to supply chain and then labor issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, after 20 months, they sent an email saying the work had begun.

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“I’m glad they changed the color of it. It won’t show all that dirt,” Pewitt said of the mausoleum’s new pink hue. They had already re-installed the wording on her husband’s crypt.

“I’m just happy they’ve started. I didn’t think they were going to do it,” Pewitt said.

We asked what made the difference.

“Probably you. Channel 3 on it,” she said. “I really feel better ’cause they’re fixing it up.”

Still, when she considered all she learned from the Problem Solvers, she said she wished she chose a different cemetery.

StoneMor officials have promised to do an interview with the Problem Solvers. It was supposed to happen prior to this story airing, but the company canceled due to having a new CEO.

Got a problem? Contact WREG Problem Solver Stacy Jacobson at 901-543-2334 or stacy.jacobson@wreg.com