Northwest Miami-Dade cemetery vandalized
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida woman visiting her grandmother's grave on Mother's Day was disturbed to find open caskets, desecrated graves and animal bones throughout the property.
Sheranda Ingram said she wanted to be close to her deceased grandmother, Eloise Esther Ingram, when she arrived at Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery in the Northwest Miami-Dade neighborhood of Brownsville. "You know, wish her a Happy Mother's Day, you know, just talk to her, to let her know what's been going on with the family," she said.
Instead of finding the peace she was looking for, Ingram came upon extensive property damage. "Seeing something like this, you don't even want to come back here, and it shouldn't be that way," she said.
Most of the hundreds of graves in this older cemetery are caskets encased in cement vaults. Even though her grandmother's grave was intact, Ingram said she noticed several of the caskets had been cracked open. One of them did not even appear to have a body inside. "I mean, that's scary, like, who does that?" she said.
A few grave sites away, a vault was shattered and did not seem to have a casket inside. While looking for her uncles' graves, Ingram found animal bones on the ground and on a grave. She also found a bag that appeared to contain rotting flesh of some kind, as well as a bag of feathers. Another grave had been broken open for so long that grass had begun to grow inside.
Ingram said she wonders what may be going on at this graveyard after dark. "You know, they say [the cemetery is used] for rituals, for sacrifices, for things like that," she said. "So, if it's that severe, where we see these type of things, we should have a security guard in here."
Evergreen Memorial Park owner Garth Reeves said he saved the property from bankruptcy 10 years ago, and it has been a constant struggle to keep out vandals.
Ingram said she hopes the rest of the cemetery's peaceful spots will not be overshadowed by the rest, and that her grandmother, along with all the veterans and others who are buried there, can be surrounded at some point by beauty. "I believe my grandmother sent me right there, like, that's someone's loved one, and they need to know what's going on," she said. "And I just made that promise to my grandmother, and I'm not going to let this go."
Reeves said that even though he spends $1,000 to have someone cut the grass in the cemetery, no employees have brought the property damage to his attention.
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