Waco: ‘I can't find my family's graves,’ cemetery visitor says

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BELLMEAD, Texas (KWTX) Recent rains are causing some graves in the Doris Miller Memorial Park cemetery to collapse and some grave markers are missing.

(Photo by John Carroll)

On Monday, Britany Curry stopped to drop off Valentine's flowers at the grave of her aunt at the cemetery at 2243 State Highway 31 outside of Bellmead, but she couldn’t’ find the marker.

"It makes you wonder what's going on around here and do they not care or are they just taking people's money?" Curry said.

"I came out here to visit my aunt and to see everything that's out here. It's all messed up and it's not in order and I just got to walking around and it bothered me, and I saw peoples tombstones hidden behind a tree. I can't even find my grandparents markers," Curry said.

At the rear of the cemetery, the mausoleum is virtually empty missing tops to the concrete structures.

Doris Miller Memorial Park owner Janice Matthews was out of town Monday, but said in a phone interview that "the tops are expensive and she can only buy a few at a time."

An unused vault sits in the middle of the back field, a trailer load of flower holders in the rear next to wooden boxes, and discarded grave stones are found in the nearby bushes.

"It has been very wet and sometimes stones sink and we have to raise them,” Matthews said.

“We can't get our big machinery to any of the graves that are collapsing until the rain stops,” she said.

“If anyone can't find their loved one’s marker, just visit the office and we can help them find them."

Curry say's it's a situation that angers her.

"You want to represent Doris Miller, but this is not how you do it this is supposed to be like a black family owned place this is not how you do it it's not how you represent us."

Last summer, some cemetery visitors discovered their loved ones’ grave markers missing.

In 2017, the cemetery charged a family for a grave site and to open and close the grave, as well as for a tent and chairs for the funeral, but never provided the service and instead, interred the teenager in one of the mausoleum slots.

Matthews says when the rain stops and she returns, the cemetery’s crew will work on getting things in order.