Society

Family Finds Baby's Casket Floating In Water (Photo)

| by Michael Doherty

A family is seeking answers after visiting their 6-month-old baby's grave only to find his casket above ground, floating in a puddle of water.

Ashton Mackey was buried at New Park Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 20 after he died suddenly from an illness, according to WHBQ. The family was horrified when they visited on May 29 to discover that Ashton's casket was out of the ground, floating in water.

"I get here and he's floating on top of what he's supposed to be buried in. I couldn't believe it," said Ashton's mother, Alicia Mackey. "I'm not going to be able to sleep. I already have nightmares. I don't sleep. This is sad. I need to see him back like he was, up under there."

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Alicia said she wanted to ask the cemetery why her son's casket was above ground, but a sign said they would be closed for Memorial Day.

The family had to rebury the child, draining the water and putting soil from a nearby field on top of the casket.

"The family came together and laid that baby to rest. That's what families do," Ashton's uncle, Willie Jones, said.

"You know you bring your loved ones out here thinking that this is the last and then you get a phone call and then the emotions come up all over again," said relative Tony Jones.

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"I do not want to see this happen to no one else," said Alicia. "Not even my enemy."

Ashton died on May 13, and his sudden death left relatives shocked and grieving, Inside Edition reports.

"My heart is so heavy right now I can't even begin to put it into words," wrote the infant's grandfather on Facebook. "I know that God makes no mistakes, and that God knows best right now, [but] I'm having a hard time with it."

The Shelby County Health Department is reportedly investigating the incident with Ashton's casket.

At the same cemetery in 2015, a family complained their relative's grave "looked terrible," WREG reports.

Ladonna Webb's family buried her brother at New Park Cemetery in September 2015. But when they came to visit, she said the conditions were not acceptable.

"The front close to the gate where you can see it from the street makes the cemetery look nice,  but the further back you get, it looks terrible," said Webb. "It just didn't look presentable."

"This Tuesday, my brother's grave site looked terrible. Looked like he was on top of the ground, water everywhere. His headstone was unleveled," she said.

Calvin Taylor, who works at the cemetery, said the conditions were not unusual, adding that the change in weather had caused the unsightly appearance.

"When the season changes the ground gets hardened back up," said Taylor. "It hardens back up. See all this is loose."

"My family is here. They should just do better by this cemetery. It looks awful," Webb said.

Sources: WREG (2), WHBQ, Inside Edition / Photo credit: Janne Rakkolainen/Flickr, Facebook via WREG

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