Local mother has difficulty locating daughter’s grave at unkept cemetery

MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. — A local mother spent hours looking for her daughter’s grave at a cemetery that has been plagued with problems.

More than a decade ago, Channel 9 reported on Morningside Cemetery in Mount Holly, after someone contacted authorities because they found unearthed human remains at the graveyard. The owner at the time was arrested, but prosecutors eventually dropped the charges. The cemetery eventually went out of business and hasn’t been formally maintained for years.

Jennifer Brevard told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke that “everything just went downhill, tremendously.”

Brevard said years ago, she had a stillborn baby girl that she named Serenity. She buried Serenity at Morningside Cemetery.

“She would have been 16 years old on August the 18th,” Brevard said.

Recently, Brevard stopped by the cemetery, but she told Stoogenke that she had trouble finding Serenity’s resting place.

“It was really, really devastating. I stayed probably two hours out here,” she said. “And for me to have to come out here, digging down in the ground, scrounging around other people’s loved ones, is real heartbreaking.”

Eventually, she did find the post where Serenity’s nameplate should have been.

During his investigation, Stoogenke found a group called the Morningside Park Neighborhood Association, which was familiar with the cemetery. A member told him that the group plans to buy nameplates for every unmarked grave at the cemetery.

Stoogenke also learned that a North Carolina law requires cemeteries that are owned by private companies to keep trust accounts for things such as ongoing maintenance. State law does not regulate government or church-owned cemeteries such as Morningside, however, so those places are not required to put money aside for perpetual care.

(WATCH: Monroe woman upset after father’s grave is damaged)

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