MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. — Imagine going to the cemetery to visit your lost loved one and not being able to find the gravesite. That’s what happened to a woman in Alabama and now she and her sisters want answers, CNN affiliate WALA reports.
Every year for Mother’s Day, Maria Richardson visits Gethsemane Cemetery on Mobile St. to leave flowers at her mother’s gravesite.This year, her mother’s headstone was no where to be found.
“I couldn’t find her headstone. I called my family saying I’ve been here for an hour, walking. Had other people helping me, good Samaritan helping me walk the place,” Richardson said.
The following Monday, when Richardson called the cemetery to ask what had happened, she said employees couldn’t find the site either. The next day, they told Richardson they found it. So, she went to the cemetery and took pictures of what she saw, a gravesite filled with fresh sand and her mother’s headstone plopped on top.
“Really what I’m feeling is hurt and betrayal here,” Richardson said.
Richardson and her sister, Irma Everette, said this is not where their mother was buried.
“I am unsure of who is in this resting place and I don’t think we will ever know again. We know she’s not there but that’s our peace. It’s been disturbed,” Everette said.
The sisters said an employee told them the grave had been disturbed somehow and could have possibly caved in, but they couldn’t say for sure if the headstone was where it was before.
“When he called and said ‘Well we fixed it’ and I said ‘Can you assure me that that is our mother is resting place?’ He said ‘Well we got maps.’ Maps don’t tell me anything,” Everette said.
Richardson said, “How could you not know? how could you not know?”
Since Mother’s Day, Richardson continues to ride around with a bouquet of flowers in her back seat. She said she won’t put them on her mother’s gravesite until she knows for sure, that’s the exact spot she was buried.
Richardson said she also remembers two people buried beside her mother and their gravesites also appear to be missing.
We reached out to Gethsemane Cemetery and an employee said to contact the cemetery’s owner.
So far, no one has returned our call.