Texas Attorney General files lawsuit against Southern Memorial Eastview Cemetery for burying bodies without license

Family members react to state taking action

Author: April Molina, Investigative Reporter, amolina@ksat.com
Published On: Nov 27 2012 08:43:24 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 27 2012 09:55:00 PM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

Jaye Taylor buried her 9-year-old son, Jimmy, at the Southern Memorial Eastview Cemetery more than two decades ago. Even today, it is unsettling for her to visit.

"I don't go there by myself because it just devastates me and I end up crying all the way home," Taylor said.

Not only are the grounds a mess, she recently had to request help locating her son's plot.

"A couple months ago they sent maintenance out there and maintenance took over two hours to measure and stuff and they said, 'Oh, he's right here,' and put a stick," Taylor said.

News of the Attorney General lawsuit comes as a relief for Taylor and many other family members who have wandered through the unkept property looking for their loved ones.

"That's a big relief, a big relief, because like I said my sister and I both have a plot here," said family member Ethel Stewart.

Stewart and her sister are having second thoughts about being laid to rest at Eastview.

In the lawsuit, the cemetery is described as having deplorable conditions with burial sites sunken in and riddled with holes.

"At the very front of the gate it was just bushes and shrubs and you couldn't even find or see the street to drive in so we just backed out and we left," Stewart said.

The lawsuit also cites bodies have been buried there in the last year, even though the cemetery's license was revoked in May of 2011.

"I can't believe that they would do something like this. It's such a sacred ground," Stewart said.

Cemetery owner, Josephine Ramon, could face civil penalties in the amount of $20,000 dollars per violation of the deceptive trade practices act.

Ramon could also be forced to allow heirs and plot owners to have their descendants removed and relocated if they choose to do so.

Neither the owner of the cemetery, nor her attorney returned calls to our Defenders.

For a list of recent stories April Molina has done, click here.