'Breaks my heart': Local woman frustrated with overgrown brush at city-managed cemetery

'Breaks my heart': Local woman frustrated with overgrown brush at city-managed cemetery

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte woman says she's been dealing with dead grass, piles of leaves, and mud around her veteran father's headstone for the last two years.

Michelle Launey said the trees and greenery surrounding Evergreen Cemetery in east Charlotte was one of the reasons why she wanted to bury her father there.

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Now, she said the greenery overgrew so bad she couldn't find her father's grave.

Launey's father was a military man; he served 22 years in the U.S. Navy.

"It breaks my heart, breaks my heart," Launey said. "Good guy, probably the best guy I've ever known in my life, really and truly."

He passed away in 1992 and was buried under a magnolia tree in the military annex at Evergreen Cemetery.

"It was beautiful," Launey said. "It was the perfect spot that he deserved and it's not that way today."

Launey showed Channel 9 pictures taken last Thursday of bushes, roots, and weeds covering her father's headstone.

"I thought gosh, was it a copper headstone, thinking someone stolen it, but it was under all this brush," Launey said.

She said she called the city of Charlotte, which manages the cemetery, and asked them to fix the issue. The brush was chopped down, but Launey said what remains was not what she had in mind.

"I'm standing in mud and I'm standing 3-feet away from my father's headstone," Launey said.

Launey added this has happened before.

She said the cemetery told her last year that the overgrowth was because they were in between maintenance companies, but now she's left wondering why this happened again.

"I just hope the city realizes that it represents our city," Launey said. "If we have people come in for Memorial Day or Veterans Day and they happen to see this, I'm sure they would be appalled."

Channel 9 went to the office at Evergreen Cemetery Friday afternoon, but it had closed for the day. We also left several messages with the city of Charlotte's Cemetery Administrative Office to ask about the issue, but we are waiting to hear back.

Reporter Erin Edwards has been in touch with someone from Mayor Vi Lyles' office, who said they are looking into the matter.