Tall grass, broken headstones fill cemetery

Tall grass, broken headstones fill cemetery
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Family members of loved ones buried in a Memphis cemetery say the cemetery has been abandoned by its owners and is in desperate need of upkeep.

According to official documents, Mount Carmel Cemetery is no longer operated by a private owner or the state. County officials said the state ordered the county to maintain the cemetery.

But one family feels not enough is being done.

The headstones are hidden beneath the overgrown grass. Many of the headstones are broken with sunken graves.

The disrepair brings tears to family members like Cedric Boyd who have loved ones buried there.

Boyd and his sisters spent last weekend cutting the grass around his family's plot with his own lawnmower. Boyd's parents and a sister are buried in the abandoned cemetery.

Mount Carmel Cemetery was relinquished to the state years ago after it was abandoned by its owners. Since then, Shelby County has been responsible for cutting the grass and picking up trash.

A spokesperson with the county said the cemetery is on a cutting schedule and was last taken care of three weeks ago.

But, for Boyd and his family, it only leaves him angry.

"I come out here to get my peace, to talk to my father when I have frustrations; I come out here and see this, it makes me even madder," Boyd said.

The family said it's not enough, and they want to see more done to keep the final resting place of their loved ones clean.

A representative with the county said a phone call was made to the crew chief in charge of cutting the grass at the cemetery.

They said the grass will be cut first thing Thursday morning. But, they said the upkeep and repair of headstones are not the responsibility of the county.

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