12 ON YOUR SIDE: Family relieved when grave stone is reinstalled

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - 12 On Your Side returns to the cemetery where a grieving husband says his wife's grave was disrespected - when the cemetery dug up her headstone during a dispute over money.

The grave stone looks great and Michael Kinton is happy with the reinstallation. At his wife's grave, he appears as if a weight was lifted.

"I feel at ease," said Kinton. "I feel that she's at peace. I do. I'm very happy. The family's happy."

The change of heart by Dale Memorial Park happened the day of my first report. The cemetery put back the marker it removed after Michael and friends illegally installed it.

Michael had to pay an $85 inspection fee, but they waived a $640 installation charge.

"I had already dug it out, so all the work was done by me," said Kinton.

Dale Memorial Park says it removed the stone because anyone working on its property must but be qualified professionals and insured - for safety reasons and to protect other graves.

Michael says he didn't want his wife in an unmarked grave, and the cemetery wouldn't give him the rules and regulations so he could hire a cheaper outside vendor.

"It seems they wanted to keep all the money in the cemetery," said Kinton.

A public notice posted tells people how to review the cemetery's expansion plan. Inside, conspicuously on the desk where grieving families stop first, there are now copies of the cemetery's price list.

"It hasn't been there ever since we've been walking in, until the other day," said Kinton.

Dale Memorial Park wouldn't talk with me on camera, but by phone, its corporate office said it's their procedure to give every family a price list and they are unaware of any changes.

"One thing I want people to know: there are options. If you don't have a lot of money, you are not at the mercy of the cemetery," said Kinton.

The Memorial Park regulates where headstones are placed in the cemetery. The FTC funeral rule requires funeral homes to give customers a general price list and the right to pay only for the services you want.

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