Relatives upset over conditions of Rose Hill Cemetery

Relatives upset over conditions of Rose Hill Cemetery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The state of Tennessee may have to step in to help maintain a cemetery that has been neglected for decades.

It’s a problem that has gotten so bad that families with loved ones buried on the property came to WMC Action News Five for answers.

“I want to visit my sister. Me and my nieces and my sister came a couple of months ago. We couldn’t find her,” said Lexus Taylor, who can’t find her sister’s grave.

Lexus Taylor still can’t find her sister’s grave at Rose Hill Cemetery off Elvis Presley Boulevard. She says she knows the area, but the weeds are so high, she just can’t find it.

“I came out here and I really couldn’t find the pathway that we made two months ago,” said Taylor.

The weeds in the historic African American cemetery are as tall as a person in some spots.

Gravestones are knocked over, tires and other debris litter the grounds.

Even driving through the cemetery can be difficult because it is so overgrown.

WMC Action News Five has done numerous stories about Rose Hill not being maintained dating back to 2007.

“We don’t know where we’re supposed to be praying at or asking for forgiveness for the person that killed her.”

Taylor says her sister, Felicia Lashea, was murdered at the age of 18 in 1992 by a 15-year-old girl.

The cemetery does not have an office on site and appears to be abandoned. The Shelby County property assessor says the property is listed as inactive since 1995.

I contacted Kevin Snider who specializes in consumer law to help find who is responsible.

“We haven’t found anything. It’s very similar to what you have found. It’s kind of a mystery… who owns it? Who maintains it? What’s equally mysterious -- why has the state or the county or quite frankly anybody else stepped in to do something about,” said Kevin Snider, attorney.

We talked with Tennessee State representative GA Hardaway from Shelby County, who says he actually met Wednesday with the division of the state over cemeteries about coming up with a solution for Rose Hill and other neglected cemeteries in Memphis and across the state.

It is something Hardaway is committed to.

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