Cemetery damage still not fixed after years, families frustrated


LAURENS CO, S.C. (WSPA)- Families are speaking out after they say nothing has been done to fix the mausoleum at the Forest Lawn Cemetery, where their loved ones are buried.

We first reported back in October 2020 that families desperately wanted something done about the deterioration.

What used to be a quiet, peaceful place for families to lay their loved ones to rest is now roped off by a fence and caution tape after the mausoleum was condemned.

You can see mold on the outside from apparent water damage.

One section is boarded up with wood.

Caution tape is tied to some of the columns.

The fence around it prohibits anyone from getting inside to pay their respects.

“My mother is in the top one with the red flowers and my stepdad, Toni Garrett said. “It’s Christmas, we can’t even put flowers on our loved one’s graves.”

Garrett has two family members buried there.

“This has been going on for 5 years, and there’s been a lot of damage done,” Garrett said. “We’ve called home offices, we’ve called the office here, we’ve talked to several different people. We always get a different story.”

Still, nothing has been done to fix it.

“It’s a mess. Nobody should have to go through this, nobody’s family. Nobody is taking care of us. Nobody is behind us. We’re at wits end and we don’t know what else to do,” Garrett said.

David Owens says the neglect is disappointing.

“Me and my wife have two spots there on the bottom, we’ve got friends buried in there,” Owens said.

Garrett and Owens, both losing hope that it will ever look beautiful again.

“We owe our loved ones much more than this,” Garrett said.

7 News was told the mausoleum isn’t the only issue here parts of the burial ground have also been damaged and still nothing has been done about it.

7 News has reached out to the cemetery for comment on when these damages could be fixed. We have not heard back.

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