Mounds of debris scare relatives visiting Cedar Lawn Cemetery


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – A lack of respect for the dead is what relatives visiting a Jackson cemetery call a mound of debris at the back of the grave. A man looking for the plots of relatives says he couldn’t believe the pile was growing.

” I am appalled. I mean, they just ran over the grave of a man with the tires and a veteran, you know? said James McNeil.

He is sickened by the sight of a mound of limbs, dirt, and trash near the graves at the back of Cedar Lawn Cemetery. The 69-year-old said he made the discovery a year ago while searching for the graves of his family members.

“He does not come from this cemetery. It came from all kinds of places in Jackson, and they’re using it as a dumping ground,” McNeil said. “A section right there; someone put a mattress in there.

The Jackson native began his genealogy quest to find his grandfather’s plot. He walked through this cemetery in sections, still unable to find several relatives.

“They tell me they can’t find the book that says where someone is buried but they come in,” McNeil said. “And they start a pile of trash behind us and I don’t know if there’s anyone under all that trash there.”

He managed to come across the graves of his great-uncle and aunt.

“Younger Street McNeil and Minnie. It’s Aunt Minnie, he said, pointing to the double headstones at the sight of the giant heap.

The pensioner is also concerned about broken headstones, sunken on graves and overgrown grass. The City of Jackson Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for maintenance.

According to officials, it is not policy to use a cemetery as a dumping ground. Manager Ison Harris said he was looking into the dumping allegations and the debris could be from a recent cleanup. Harris said the pile will be moved out of the cemetery.

“Very disrespectful. It’s supposed to be a cemetery. It’s not meant to be a dump,” McNeil added.

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