Grieving Mom Fighting To Get Son's Tombstone Installed

5:29 PM, Sep 6, 2012   |    comments
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High Point, NC - Sierra McLean, a High Point mother, never thought she'd be grieving her only son. And to add to the pain, nine months later, she is still fighting to get a stone to mark his memory.

But that's exactly what she has been doing since January after she paid the owner of Oakwood Cemetery in High Point to put down a headstone.

As of September 6th, the owner has still not done the job.

McLean's son's grave still sits bare with only a small makeshift marker bearing Jeremiah McLean Eliss' name and a vase of flowers the family put there.

"For me to come out here every Sunday and not see it, it's like a piece is still missing," McLean said. "Like he's there, not labeled. That's not how I want it to be."

The grieving mother says she's especially hurt by the situation when friend go to visit Jeremiah's gravesite and can't find it because there's no visible marker.

Mclean paid $350 to Charlie Dyer, the cemetery owner, days before her son's burial in January.

Dyer declined to talk about the issue on camera but he tells News 2 he made a mistake.

He says he faxed McLean's order after it was initially processed but didn't realize until months later that it didn't go through.

According to him, he ordered it again in May and again something went wrong. Now he's trying for a third time and he expects the stone to get here in three weeks.

News 2's Faith Abubey asked Dyer for some proof of the order but he told her he hasn't gotten it yet. And he expects that in the mail as well.

"If I were the owner of this company and I know I've got customers, especially dealing with a business like this, this is someone's family, their loved-one that they had to bury and you're holding their money and you're doing it on your own time? That's not right. That's not right," McLean said, visibly upset.

She says she's tried to get someone else to install the stone but Dyer says he'll follow through with the contact at no cost.
He has since returned her payment.
McLean says after her nine-month ordeal, Dyer's words are meaningless until she sees the headstone in its place.

News 2 checked on Oakwood's record with the Cemetery Commission in Raleigh. We found out there are a half dozen complaints so far this year about Charlie Dyer's business.

The director says the cemetery is "a problem."

The commission has an attorney reviewing Dyers file to see if any action should be taken against him.

If you're dealing with problem with a cemetery or funeral home after a loved-one's death, there are several resources available to you.

You can file a compliant with the Cemetery Commission, the Attorney General's office or the Board of Funeral Service.

Also, the Funeral Consumer Alliance of the Piedmont has some educational information on their website.

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