Family seeks answers after finding pile of tombstones

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South family searching for a missing grave is demanding answers after finding a pile of tombstones.

With flowers in hand and no where to place them, Tammie Ashford-Gray and her family arrived at Memphis Memory Gardens on Mother's Day to visit her parents.
 
While she was there, Ashford-Gray noticed a pile of old tombstones.

"Is my mother and daddy's tombstone in that stack, or is that just a haphazard mess that hadn't been cleaned up?" Ashford-Gray said she wondered.

Ashford-Gray said there was no memorial or marker to identify her parents' grave, so she asked for a manager.

"He walked around for 15 or 20 minutes, searching for my mother and father's tombstone," she said. "At that point, he said he could not find them."

Ashford-Gray demanded answers.

"His explanation was one of they were up here with a tractor, and with the tractor they may have ran over the tombstone and broke it," she said.

That's when Gray turned to Action News 5,

"The memorial was missed during a trimming cycle," a Memphis Memory Gardens spokesperson said in a written statement. "Due to the rapid growth of Bermuda grass, it was covered up.  We have actively taken corrective measures to clean and elevate the memorial to prevent this from happening again.  We will contact the family."

"In the spot where they used to be, there is new ground soil there, so we're asking the question, 'Where are they?'" Ashford-Gray said.

Management at Memphis Memory Gardens would not say where the tombstones in the pile came from.

"In a million years, I never would have guessed my family would be experiencing this heartache and heartbreak on Mother's Day," Ashford-Gray said.

Ashford-Gray said she and her family are still not satisfied with management's handling of the situation.  They plan to seek legal advice.

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