Families look for answers after memorials go missing - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Families look for answers after memorials go missing

BENTON, IL (KFVS) -

Families with loved ones buried at the Masonic and odd fellows cemeteries in Benton, Illinois have long wondered where mementos and memorials placed on the gravestones went.

Now it appears they have their answer.

Jessi McConnell of Benton tells me it's been a mystery.

She says families suspected thieves, vandals, even the wind. But found all those scenarios implausible when they found this.

Tucked away in a wooded area just behind the cemetery. there are piles of items removed from graves. There are thousands of flowers, family pictures and even broken statues.

McConnell says her fiancé passed away in 2010, and she goes to the cemetery regularly to visit his grave to leave cards, flowers, and even scribbled pictures drawn by their 18-month-old son the love of her life was never able to meet.

She says when those things started disappearing. someone told her about this floral grave yard.

And she wants the cemetery groundskeepers to make it stop.

"We're not trying to cause chaos or make them look bad, but we're wondering why our families lives are just thrown in a pile like a piece of trash," McConnell said. "We want to come out here and mourn and not be disturbed by the fact that nothing's safe."

McConnell says the way she understands the rules, it's okay to have flowers and items on the grave stone as long as it's not in the way of mowers and doesn't cover the name of the deceased.

Heartland News tried to talk to the cemetery about all this, but when we stopped by the office, a man stuck his head out and said "no comment."

There's a cemetery board meeting Tuesday morning that McConnell says she plans to attend in hopes of getting some answers.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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