A British mother was horrified to discovered the grave of her miscarried daughter uncovered with the coffin visible.
Chloe Mayne told Get Surrey that she was visiting Redstone Cemetery on March 22 with flowers for her daughter when she found the uncovered grave.
18-year-old Mayne and her boyfriend, Adam Reid, lost their baby at just three months on March 14, and held a service two days later. Just a week afterward, Mayne said, the grave looked like a "building site."
"When we arrived to lay flowers, the first thing we saw was the pile of dirt then this big black hole in the ground," she said. "It was just open and you could see the corner of the coffin under a thin layer of dirt and some wooden boards. I just collapsed, it killed me to see the grave like that because it wasn't the grave I thought I was leaving my baby to rest peacefully in."
Mayne said she began questioning why the cemetery staff would leave the grave open the way they did instead of closing it like they were supposed to. "It is so unbelievable and disrespectful. How can I get closure?" she told Get Surrey.
"Even though there were planks and dirt, I could still see her coffin. No one should have to go through this."
Mayne's father, Lawrence, subsequently called the borough council from the cemetery to ask why the grave had been reopened.
"I was told someone would come to see us and we waited for three hours but no one did," he said.
"I checked with the county court if we could legally fill in the hole and they said as no one arrived by 5 p.m. we could. We couldn't just leave it open, and a man arrived from the cemetery chapel and gave us some shovels. It is disgusting that we were put in the situation where we had to rebury that baby, my grandchild."
Mayne and several family members ultimately refilled the grave themselves.
A Reigate and Banstead Borough Council spokesman later apologized for the traumatic incident.
"Our deepest sympathies are with Ms. Mayne, Mr. Reid and their family on the loss of their baby. We have [apologized] to the family for the distress this matter has caused them," the spokesman said.
Baby Skyla Rose Reid was buried at Redstone Cemetery on Wednesday, March 16, acting upon written instructions received from the family and the hospital for a burial in a common grave. As is the case with common graves, following a request for the burial of another baby the grave was reopened in preparation for the service.
Following baby Skyla’s family’s wishes, we agreed that no further interments would take place and for the grave to be filled and offered help in doing so. We have been in touch with the family about the options for their baby’s resting place. We are also in discussions with the hospital about how to prevent any future incidents.
In another incident of disrespect for the deceased, a Sacramento, California police officer's grave was vandalized in late 2015 — with badges attached to the tombstone stolen, the Auburn Journal reported.