CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Patricia Robey-Weeden was heartbroken when she discovered what had happened at Dale Memorial Cemetery in Chesterfield without her knowledge. She just stumbled upon it.
"I purchased my property in May of 2007 and this summer discovered that someone else was resting in my property," Robey-Weeden said. "I had a friend buried right up here on the hill and after the service I walked down and that's when I discovered it. So, I was grieving and it was hard to face this and deal with it at that time."
The hardest part is she had purchased that specific crypt nearly a decade ago because it was diagonal to her sister's crypt who had passed on.
"It was as close as I could get to my sister," Robey-Weeden said. She collected herself and went to the office to find out how this happened. "And the next week a lady from the office called and told me that my property had been double sold and all the property in that area around my sister's property had been sold and I had a choice of two other locations that I could choose from in this building. I settled. I'm not happy about it but it's settled."
Robey-Weeden called 12 On Your Side because she wanted others to know what happened to her in hopes of sparing someone else. An internet search reveals that there is an entire Facebook page for disgruntled customers of this cemetery called the good, the bad, the ugly of Dale Memorial Cemetery. There, people are telling stories of damaged headstones and markers among other problems.
One of those stories comes from Rosa Curtis. Her father is buried out here and what she experienced once when she came here to visit his grave may just haunt her for the rest of her life.
"It was dug open all the way to the crypt," said Curtis. "Well, it gave me a heart attack because I couldn't figure out why daddy's grave was open."
It seemed another casket was going to be added to the grave. The only other person that was to be buried here is Curtis' mother who is still very much alive.
"I didn't bring mom thank God because she would have had a heart attack," said Curtis. Frantic, Curtis went to the office where a worker investigated. "She said, 'Oh, wrong grave. It's supposed to be two up and one over.'"
Curtis says just last year the cemetery replaced the grave marker here because it had been damaged after mowers ran over it. When NBC12 called the office and went there in person seeking answers, the reporter was referred to a corporate number in Houston. A spokesperson for parent company Service Corporation International sent this statement:
Meanwhile, both women have advice for others.
"Be diligent, stay on top of it, tell your children, your executor, whoever will be taking care of you at your time of need exactly what you have purchased and what will be due at that time," said Robey-Weeden.
"I keep on them because they're always damaging stuff, they're always messing something up," said Curtis. "That's peoples heart, you know? That's their heart and you're taking that and destroying it."
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