Families call for change at cemetery in Hensley, say headstones are overgrown, neglected by grounds staff

Investigates

HENSLEY, Ark – Families in Hensley Arkansas say they are upset with the way their loved ones are being taken care of at a local cemetery.

They say headstones are overgrown and neglected, now calling on cemetery management to clean up.

Diane Chachery visited Rest in Peace Cemetery this week for the first time in three years.

“Both my parents are here, my daughter and my grandson [are here as well],” Chachery said.

Chachery says when she visits the cemetery, she knows the general area where her family is buried. During this visit, she wasn’t able to locate them.

“With the headstones covered it was just impossible to find them,” Chachery said.

Chachery says headstones were overgrown with weeds and covered with dirt. Her daughter died at 36, she said Monday she wasn’t able to find her headstone.

“That hurts. It’s like reliving her death all over again,” Chachery said. “That was painful.”

Chachery is one of 50 other families disappointed with the groundskeeping at the cemetery.

“We have no idea where our father is laying, we have no idea where our loved ones are laying,” Cheryl Yancy said.

Yancy has several family members buried at Rest in Peace Cemetery. She says she and her brother had to dig out her father’s headstone that was covered by dirt.

Yancy and others now calling on staff to step up and clean up the area.

“They deserve better, the grounds deserve better,” Yancy said.

Yancy says other families have claimed missing money and headstones never received.

Our station reached out to cemetery management for comment and has not heard back.

Yancy says she has reached out to the Arkansas Department of Insurance Funeral Services who are now taking complaints. She has also started a petition calling on cemetery staff to clean up or resign.

Yancy says she’s doing it all not just for the families involved but for those who call the space, a final resting place.

“If no one can speak for them, we have to be their voices,” Yancy said.

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