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Family seeking answers about gravesite marker mistake

BROWN COUNTY, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- A worried family brings their cemetery concerns to Local 12 News.

They want to know if something terrible has happened to their loved one's final resting place.  Imagine how upsetting it would be if you went to the cemetery and found someone else's headstone on your loved ones grave.  That's exactly what happened a few weeks ago when a frail,79-year-old woman went to visit her son's grave about 50 miles east of Cincinnati in Aberdeen.  Someone else's grave marker was on her son's plot.

A few weeks ago Pat Bradford brought her 79-year-old mom, Charlene, to the Charter Oak Cemetery to visit her son's grave.  They found a headstone was sitting on the top of Tony Malone's grave and a fresh grave appeared to be on the foot of it.

Standing beside the grave, Bradford told Local 12' Rich Jaffe, "And when I brought my mother down here she just absolutely through a fit. She said what is all that mud doing there? And what's that stone doing on top of my sons head?"

One of the things that made Pat Bradford's situation so difficult is the fact that while this cemetery is in the Village of Aberdeen, it actually belongs to and is maintained by the Huntington Township Trustees.  So when Pat needed some help with the issues here, she went to the Village of Aberdeen looking for the answers, but Aberdeen has it's own issues right now.

A couple of weeks ago, frustrated with the village council, Mayor Harry Foxworthy resigned.  When Pat went to the village offices, no one could really tell her how to get to the root of her cemetery troubles.  While Pat was explaining the problem to Local 12, her solution miraculously came walking and riding up.

Eileen Chamberlain is the Huntington Township Trustee in charge of the cemetery.  Jerry Jones helps with the physical part of the property.

Chamberlain explained, "Two weeks ago we mowed on Thursday.  I don't know when we had so many compliments on this cemetery, how pretty it looks.  The only thing that wasn't pretty was this and I will admit to this and I have tried hard to get this taken care of."

Eileen and Jerry measured, marked and decided that some of the markers were indeed off.  They explained the headstone had been moved due to massive water problems with the new grave and promised to have everything fixed and back in place by Memorial Day.  Hopefully bringing some relief to Pat Bradford and her mom.

Bradford said, "You don't know what it's gonna be like when my mother watches this newscast this evening at 6 o'clock to know that her sons grave will be fixed."

Eileen Chamberlain told Rich Jaffe the other marker had been on Tony Malone's grave since last fall.  She says another issue the Township is having with the cemetery is a lack of funds, since they only make money to maintain the property when they sell cemetery plots.

When it gets closer to Memorial Day, Local 12 will let you know if things get straitened out.


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