KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A Killeen woman says she’s heartbroken after discovering that mementos she regularly left beside her 11-year-old daughter’s grave were removed and discarded.
The grave before the mementos were removed. (Photo courtesy of Cruzita Solis)
"I grieve to this day, and it's just like a stab in my heart all over again for her," Cruzita Solis said.
Her daughter, Aisalyn Hull, was a sixth-grader at Liberty Hill Middle School when she died from a fall.
The 11-year-old was on life support for four days after the accident.
Her mother has her final heartbeat tattooed on her wrist.
Family and friends visit her grave at Killeen Memorial Cemetery frequently leaving behind letters, quinceañera invitations and Aisalyn’s favorite toy, stuffed animals.
"When we go there's silence, and then the wind blows, and you hear the wind chimes and it's so beautiful," Solis said.
During weekly visits, she changed out her daughter's gravesite gifts to match holidays.
But last week, when she arrived expecting to see items she left to mark Valentine’s Day only to find the mementos missing.
"To go to the cemetery and all her things are gone, it's just heartbreaking!" she said.
At first, she thought someone stole the items, but she says the cemetery's site director later told her the keepsakes had been tossed out.
The cemetery's corporate office declined multiple requests for comment, but did provide a copy of the cemetery’s policies, which says, “Toys, ornaments and similar articles are not permitted."
Aisalyn's mother says she never got a copy of the rule book and after four years without issues, she feels the grave appears to be the only area where the rule was enforced.
"I take these things to her because I don't get to buy her Christmas gifts or Easter baskets," she adds that she wants the site director to show understanding.
"To be in a position where you have to speak to grieving families every day, you would think she would have some sort of empathy. To her it's just a stuffed animal- for me, it's her life--this is what she enjoyed."
Solis says that the cemetery usually calls, emails and puts up notices whenever crews are preparing for such things as spring cleaning.
She simply wants cemetery officials to go back to doing that and to update their official policies.