Grieving mother struggles with the way Lexington Cemetery is run


LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – Shanelle Allen finds it even more difficult to reach her son’s grave.

“You can go to other cemeteries, and it’s nice and beautiful,” she said Monday from Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington.

Shanelle says the artificial flowers are mowed by maintenance crews and the headstones are knocked over and left that way. And the chime she left on her son’s gravestone was taken out.

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“It represented me and my four children, my boyfriend and my granddaughter,” she said of the chime. Her disappearance, she said, was terribly upsetting.

Shanelle said she struggled to get answers from cemetery staff, only speaking to someone if they were in the field while she made her visits. LEX 18 also called the cemetery, but this led to a number that is no longer in service.


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Allen’s son Markel was shot and killed in Lexington in February. She brought him here because her grandfather, who died a month earlier, was buried nearby. She already regrets this decision.

“I just wish I had made a better choice and put my son somewhere other than here,” she said.


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As you walk around here, the issues Shanelle pointed out is apparent. A few gravestones are turned over, and several have grass chips embedded in the front, obstructing the engraving. And these artificial flowers are scattered in pieces in many areas.

“We already hurt because we have to come here, and then seeing them destroy our decorations is even more heartbreaking,” she said.


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Shanelle and her boyfriend are now taking care of the area around Markel’s grave. They will mow the lawn and clean as needed.

“It’s very disrespectful to everyone,” she said of the lack of care on what most believe is sacred ground.

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