• 70°

Family reburies mother after City Memorial Park Cemetery gravesite sinks

SALISBURY — When Christopher Benge and his family buried Camara Talbert in January 2017, they thought it would be the only time.

On Thursday, the family was back at City Memorial Park Cemetery reburying Talbert after a water main break caused the foot stone to sink to the vault.

“After two years, you have to dig your mama up,” Benge said.

Benge said the family first contacted Linda Davis, the cemetery manager, after noticing that the grass wasn’t growing at the gravesite and the foot stone was sinking.

Linda McElroy, communications director for the city, said Courtney Cline, Talbert’s daughter, first contacted the city to say the marker looked like it was sinking and it needed to be redone.

Cline said there were always problems with the grave, including no grass and the foot marker sinking numerous times.

McElroy said the cemetery crew checked on the gravesite and agreed the marker looked like it was sinking.

“Cemetery staff told the family they would take the marker up again, scrape off the top layer of dirt and retamp the top with good dirt and reinstall the marker level with the ground with good dirt around it,” McElroy said in an email.

Benge said the city added dirt to the grave again.

“It keeps sinking, sinking and sinking,” Benge said.

On Oct. 30, Cline contacted the city again to say the marker was gone. McElroy said the cemetery staff told Cline that since the vault was buried double deep, a water line may have been hit.

On. Nov. 1, city staff members met with Cline to choose a new plot.

On Thursday, workers from Salisbury-Rowan Utilities, city Public Services, Risk Management, Imperial Vault Co. and a funeral home were at the cemetery moving Talbert’s casket. Utility crews came in the early morning to remove water at the old gravesite.

“I hate the simple fact I have to dig her up,” Benge said.

Cline added: “It was stressful, obviously. It was my mother. It was reliving it all over. We wanted to make sure she was cared for.”

Benge said midday that he was concerned when the casket was moved to a new vault, the family would find that water had seeped into it and it had damaged sentimental items he and his family had put in the casket.

“Everything was fine in the inside,” Benge said. “The vault was dry.”

Before the casket was reburied, the family added letters and flowers on top of the vault.

The city moved the casket and provided a new vault at no charge to the family.

Cline said the city was helpful and respectful during the process.

City workers put an indicator on the cemetery map of where the water line is.

“Now that we have identified where the line runs, we have it marked it on cemetery maps and we will not be selling any burial spaces near that line in the future at all,” cemetery staff said.

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with breaking into used car dealership, stealing Ford Mustang

Crime

Kannapolis man charged with accidentally killing foster brother

Business

Renting out Wrenn House is next on menu for Bell Tower Green Park

Local

City to purchase, replace floating aerator devices for wastewater treatment

Business

NC Community College president details importance of connection between businesses, educational institutions

Entertainment

Sheriff: Alec Baldwin fired prop gun on movie set that killed woman

Coronavirus

CDC panel recommends expanded COVID-19 vaccine booster rollout

News

Truck driver killed after collision with school bus in Newton

Crime

Iredell County man charged with murder after three bodies found in burned Statesville house

Crime

Massive search for Laundrie ends as FBI identifies remains in Florida

Cleveland

Nation’s largest barn quilt mural to be unveiled in Cleveland on Saturday

College

Charlotte among six schools joining American Athletic Conference

Crime

Few details available after Kannapolis shooting claims life

Business

East Spencer apparel store will host free luncheon for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

College

Catawba College receives record $200 million contribution to endowment

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found at Salisbury home

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office releases details of NASCAR driver’s assault at coworker’s home

Elections

Council candidates discuss city’s handling of ‘Fame’ relocation, protesting, pandemic

Business

Making Memore: Entrepreneurs harness power of Kannapolis’ Food Innovation Lab

Education

Shoutouts

Business

DuPont purchases Salisbury-based manufacturing business

Christmas Happiness

Christmas Bureau opens applications for families to get holiday assistance

Education

Spencer Library hosts life pathways event

Local

Salisbury-Rowan NAACP President Gemale Black seeking state branch’s top spot