Family surprised by cemetery mistake

BEDFORD HEIGHTS -- On Valentine's Day the Hopkins family's hearts were broken by the sudden passing of their father.

They came to Hillcrest Cemetery at 26200 Aurora Road for their father's burial service and closure. However, while they were there, they received a disturbing surprise.

"You don't expect to bury your father unexpectedly and then find out that someone else is in the plots that you purchased," explained Durecia Hopkins.

Buried in the adjacent plots they bought together nearly 20 years ago were two strangers.

"They knew this all the time and they said they were just going to wait until we were finished grieving and then they would let us know that," Durecia continued.

For Durecia and her siblings, grief quickly turned into outrage when they confronted the cemetery manager Peter Junkin about fixing the mistake.

"He did tell me, 'Oh, we move people all the time,'" said Durecia. "We are grieving, I'm grieving, for my father and now I have to worry about since you say we pick people up all the time, we move people all the do I really know that my mother is still there?"

We contacted Hillcrest Cemetery's attorney, Robert T. Glickman, who says a mistake like this has never happened before.

Glickman released the following statement Sunday: "We apologize for the mistake and will do everything in our power to correct it to the satisfaction of the Hopkins family and the other family involved."

However, for the Hopkins family, the damage has already been done.

"I have sympathy and heartache for people that have lost parents and have lost family members and you expect it to be a smooth transition," said Durecia. "I can't cry anymore you just get to a point where you're like this is not right."

The Hopkins family has now hired an attorney and is pursuing a lawsuit against the cemetery.


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