The mourning and burial of a beloved father and grandfather quickly turned into a gruesome scene from a Steven King movie when a decomposing bare foot, from an adjoining grave, appeared on top of the man’s casket.
The devastated family of Cleveland Butler, 85, described their experience as traumatizing and yet another blow to an already gloomy occasion.
“This was a very traumatizing situation, first dealing with losing my father and then this,” daughter Sandra Butler told the Daily News.
Further recounting the graveyard crisis, that took place at Mount Holiness Memorial Park, Butler says the workers on hand had no regard for the dangling limb and acted as if it was just another day at the cemetery.
“I couldn’t even look at it. It was too much and no one said anything to us. It was like business as usual for them. They just dumped the dirt in the plot like it was normal, like it’s nothing to them.”
And as if things couldn’t get any worse, the bizarre burial also included one worker accidentally dropping a pack of cigarettes and his phone into the open grave immediately fishing them out with a rake moments before relatives saw the foot in the grave.
Relatives later griped the cemetery workers ignored the hanging foot and quickly filled in the grave.
“They heard it was a leg on the casket and they didn’t even try to investigate it,” Sandra’s brother, Alonzo said.
Mount Holiness owner James Shmergel felt that the attention to the ghastly grave mishap was overblown.
“Is it newsworthy? In a cemetery? Not really.”
Cemetery caretaker Bill Plog, who’s worked at Mount Holiness since 1983, reiterated Shmergel’s sentiments on the incident telling reporters he was surprised such occurrences were so rare.
“There was a casket, it deteriorated. You can purchase a concrete vault, but people don’t. That grave there is from 1969 . . . It’s unfortunate that this happened, but this is a graveyard.”
The Butlers may hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit seeking compensation for pain and suffering.
Note to self: Save for a concrete vault…