EXCLUSIVE: East Alabama cemetery conditions continue to spiral out of control

EXCLUSIVE: East Alabama cemetery conditions continue to spiral out of control
(Source: Chandler Morgan WTVM)
(Source: Chandler Morgan WTVM)
(Source: Chandler Morgan WTVM)
(Source: Chandler Morgan WTVM)

CHAMBERS COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Family members are speaking out on what they say are vile conditions at an East Alabama cemetery.

News Leader 9 spoke exclusively with dozens of valley residents while visiting the Resthaven Memorial Cemetery in Chambers County.

"I didn't come out here often because of the conditions," said Contessa Meacham. "It's just upsetting."

Meacham said goodbye to her father, Leon Fuller, ten years ago when he was laid to rest in the mausoleum of the Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery, in East Alabama.

"[My mother] has a prepaid spot in the mausoleum," said Meacham. "As far as we know she probably cannot be put here."

Cynthia Walker has three family members laid to rest in the mausoleum and said the conditions of the property are deplorable.

"It's leaking, the crypts are seeping something...whether its body fluids or rain water we don't know," said Walker.

Caution tape surrounds the building, as it lacks a functioning air conditioning unit, features numerous cracks in on the mausoleum walls, insect infestations everywhere and an extremely water damaged roof. Meacham said the roof is a ticking time bomb, just waiting to cave in.

"We know what decomposition smells like and it was a heavy smell within two weeks of my father being interred," said Meacham. "The ants all around the cracks of the frame where he is placed were just crawling in and out. It's just horrible. It's very upsetting."

But who is managing this hazardous memorial site?

The notice posted on the Mausoleum doors states the property is bankrupt.

Calvin McClellan, who also has family members buried on the site, said he wants to do something about the growing issue.

"I am interested in acquiring the property," said McClellan. "I'll make it back to what it should be."

But until then, the dozens of concerned family members with thousands of dollars invested into burying their loved ones at Rest haven are continuing to feel helpless. Many said they have tried to make their voices heard by filing consumer requests for assistance through the Alabama Department of Insurance.

But no luck.

"People bought these places thinking that they would be maintained and kept up," said Walker.

"Nothing is being done," said Meacham.

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