HENSLEY, Ark — Families in Hensley Arkansas say they are unhappy with the way their loved ones are being cared for at a local cemetery.
They say the headstones are overgrown and neglected, now calling on cemetery management to clean up.
Diane Chachery visited the Rest in Peace cemetery this week for the first time in three years.
“Both my parents are here, my daughter and my grandson [are here as well]“said Chachery.
Chachery says that when she visits the cemetery, she knows the general area where her family is buried. During this visit, she was unable to locate them.
“With the headstones covered, it was just impossible to find them,” Chachery said.
Chachery says the headstones were overgrown with weeds and covered in dirt. Her daughter died aged 36, she said on Monday she had been unable to find her headstone.
“It hurts. It’s like reliving your death all over again,” Chachery said. “It was painful.”
Chachery is one of 50 other families disappointed with the upkeep of the grounds at the cemetery.
“We have no idea where our father is lying, we have no idea where our loved ones are lying,” Cheryl Yancy said.
Yancy has several family members interred at Rest in Peace Cemetery. She says she and her brother had to dig up her father’s headstone which was covered in dirt.
Yancy and others are now asking staff to step up and clear the area.
“They deserve better, the pitches deserve better,” Yancy said.
Yancy says other families said money was missing and headstones were never received.
Our station contacted cemetery management for comment and received no response.
Yancy says she contacted the Arkansas Department of Insurance Funeral Services, which now receives complaints. She also started a petition calling on cemetery staff to clean up or quit.
Yancy says she’s doing everything not just for the families involved, but for those who call the space a final resting place.
“If nobody can speak for them, we have to be their voices,” Yancy said.