While family and friends watch as their beloved father and grandfather was buried in the ground, they were suddenly jolted from their grief with a moment of pure terror straight out of “The Walking Dead.” A foot from the adjacent gravesite suddenly jutted out of the dirt and fell onto the casket. It was spotted during the eulogy when those looking down into the grave noticed the decaying foot on top of Cleveland Butler’s casket.
Butler was 85 when he passed and he left behind a loving family and a lasting legacy. But his family and friends were not prepared for the gruesome shock when the New Jersey cemetery failed to keep the bodies within their respective gravesites.
“I can hardly eat, I can hardly sleep, it’s taking its toll on me,” Sandra Butler, the deceased’s daughter, told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
Although losing her father had been a horrible life circumstance, his passing was made even more traumatic with the decaying foot plopped right on top of his casket.
Butler died from a stroke and the sudden departure of the familial patriarch was shocking – now this foot made things even worse for everyone.
Because they loved him, the family, who is from Brooklyn, decided to pool their money together and buy him a plot at an expensive and picturesque New Jersey cemetery. But their lack of professionalism became evident when the deceased person at the adjacent site got their foot in Butler’s plot.
No one believed their eyes when they saw the bare leg from the other corpse. It was surreal.
“I’m there to bury my father and there’s somebody’s foot on top of his casket,” she said.
Other family members stated the situation bluntly. But it didn’t deter from their grief and shock.
“I saw what appeared to be a left leg,” Alonzo Butler added.
“They were like, ‘oh snap, a foot,” family representative Rev. Kevin McCall explained.
After the family and friends found the foot on the casket, Rev. McCall, who is representing the family, said the Mount Holiness Cemetery caretaker and groundsmen offered NO explanation or apology.
“He said even if it’s routine for caskets to disintegrate, exactly why did this happen? And why didn’t the family get a formal apology?” McCall said.
CBS2 News arrived at the cemetery to get a statement but no one was there – very convenient.
“We had pictures of the leg and they didn’t like that,” Sandra said, “We reached out to the New Jersey State Cemetery Board and a spokesman said the investigation was just beginning.”
If laws are broken, the board will impose fines. It is unclear if they broke any laws despite sharing plotted gravesites with adjacent corpses.
The family demands answers – but not just for themselves. They want the family of the deceased at the adjacent grave site as well – that person was clearly mistreated in the afterlife.
The Butler’s somber gathering was turned into a Halloween freak show because of the carelessness at the Mount Holiness Cemetery.
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