Midland Family Upset about Condition of Grave

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

Imagine going to visit a loved one or family member who has passed on, and seeing their grave site in bad shape. That's what one family in Midland is dealing with.

"Very upset, very upset, it's emotional and upsetting."

That's how Janie Velarde and her family felt Thursday about her father's grave site. The family has been visiting his site every Sunday for the past few weeks at the north Resthaven Memorial Park. They said the grave site has not been kept in good condition.

"We noticed that the grave site was sinking in. I didn't say anything because I figured they will notice it. You know, when they mow the lawn," said Sylvia Ontiveros, whose father is buried at Resthaven.

But they said they saw no change, until they called Resthaven this week. Today they visited the site again, and were not happy with what they saw.

"They fixed it, but they threw rocks all over it. You know, it was a mess. It looked real bad," explained Janie Velarde.

"When I went, I was pretty upset because you know they tried to fill it with, it wasn't sand, it was like rocks, you know," said Missie Velarde. "And it was pretty sunken in, all the way to the grave. Like you could see where the coffin was at."

The family thinks the cemetery used Caliche to put on top of the coffin. Resthaven came Thursday afternoon to fix the site more permanently. NewsWest 9 spoke with a manager about the situation.

"The family came into the office today, and explained to me that they did have a problem," said Manager Nancy Tranum. "We went out to the gravesite to see what the problem was, so we were aware of the situation, and we discussed it with the family. The issue had been resolved to the family's satisfaction, and our commitment is to the family, and making sure that the family is satisfied."

However, the family said more work needs to be done.

"I would like for them to you know keep up with it you know do a better job, you know, use the dirt, that's what we paid them for, you know to use dirt," said Missie Velarde.

"I would just like to let people know that there's others out there like that, you know, say something about it, because it's not only my dad, you know," explained Janie Velarde. "My dad's been gone only three weeks, and look, and there's another one there maybe a month ago too, and it looks just as bad. You know, it's not fair."

The family told us they were offered a headstone from Resthaven, but they really just wanted to let everyone know how bad they felt. And for people to remember how important it is for companies to keep those sites in good condition.