Family claims mother's body lost in Galilee Memorial - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Families claim relatives' bodies lost in shut down cemetery

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Taneshia and Shalessha Scott say workers at Galilee Memorial Gardens told them their mother was buried near a tree at the cemetery. Taneshia and Shalessha Scott say workers at Galilee Memorial Gardens told them their mother was buried near a tree at the cemetery.
The sisters searched and cannot find their mother's grave or her grave markings. The sisters searched and cannot find their mother's grave or her grave markings.
Investigators charged Jemar Lambert with abuse of a corpse and theft over $1,000 in connection with operations at the nine-acre cemetery. Investigators charged Jemar Lambert with abuse of a corpse and theft over $1,000 in connection with operations at the nine-acre cemetery.
Galison's mother and nephew are buried at Galilee, which is lined with yellow crime scene tape. Galison's mother and nephew are buried at Galilee, which is lined with yellow crime scene tape.

(WMC-TV) - Olivia Rogers' daughters say losing their mother to illness back in 2009 was tough, but dealing with the possibility that her body is lost forever in a cemetery is even tougher.

Investigators accuse the cemetery owner of poor record keeping and crushing caskets to stack them into a single grave site in an effort to bury people in a full cemetery.

Taneshia and Shalessha Scott say workers at Galilee Memorial Gardens told them their mother was buried near a tree at the cemetery. The sisters searched and cannot find their mother's grave or her grave markings.

Investigators charged Jemar Lambert with abuse of a corpse and theft over $1,000 in connection with operations at the nine-acre cemetery.

"When I first heard about it, my heart sank, because I was like, oh my gosh, my mom is out there," said Taneshia. "My mom was a very sweet lady. She didn't deserve it. No one deserves this. I don't wish this on anyone. It's terrible."

Family members' receipts show they paid $995 dollars for their mother's burial, but they say this is not about money. It is about finding their mother.

Other residents in the Mid-South are going to visit their loved ones to find the cemetery an active crime scene.

"I was hoping I could just come out here and just get down there and see ... I've been struggling with it all day," said Robert Galison. "It's been real hard. I've been having a hard time functioning."

Galison's mother and nephew are buried at Galilee, which is lined with yellow crime scene tape. He fears his relatives, like many others, are buried in the wrong graves or there are several other people buried with them.

Kate Abernathy works with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, which oversees funeral homes and cemeteries. She says the state has petitioned for receivership to take over the cemetery.

"I've had a pretty steady stream of phone calls coming in. I'd estimate we've had more than 150 pone calls over the past couple of days."

The hearing in Nashville for the state's petition for receivership is scheduled for February 6.

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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