KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Overland Park woman is warning others to think twice before burying their loved ones at a Kansas City cemetery.
Tierra Morrison said she buried her mom at Lincoln Cemetery, located off Blue Ridge Boulevard, a decade ago because it was close to where she was living at the time.
“I hadn’t had many issues until recently,” Morrison said.
In March, she visited her mother’s grave site on what would’ve been her 55th birthday only to find that her headstone was missing.
“I was confused,” Morrison said. “I was upset, kind of freaked out, but I tried not to overreact.”
Morrison and her family reached out the cemetery’s owner, Keith Slider. She said they talked a few times, but she kept getting vague answers about what happened.
“First, it was Mother’s Day that it would be found,” Morrison recalled. “I didn’t hear anything then. So I contacted him after Mother’s Day. He said, ‘Oh, we’ll have it by Memorial.’”
On Friday, Morrison said she reached out to Slider to follow-up and was told that the cemetery had marked her mother’s grave site but couldn’t find the headstone.
“I know where she’s buried,” Morrison said. "Where’s her headstone? If you can’t find it, then I feel like the cemetery should replace it.”
Morrison claims when she pushed the cemetery to cover the cost of the missing headstone, the owner never texted her back.
“I didn’t initially want to get the media involved, but after three months and there’s no update or resolution what else is there to do,” Morrison explained.
On Tuesday, FOX4’s Problem Solvers reached out to Slider. He didn’t want to speak on camera, but when he found Morrison had invited us to the cemetery to look her mother’s grave, Slider showed up to the cemetery. He blocked the entrance to the site with his car and called sheriff’s deputies on us.
“It just comes off very insensitive that he doesn’t care or show that he wants to help,” Morrison said.
FOX4’s Zac Summers was able to get Slider and Morrison on the phone together. He explained he was helping her locate the headstone in “good faith.” When we asked what he thinks happened to the headstone, Slider said he didn’t know.
“I have no idea, but the cemetery is not responsible for her mother’s headstone,” Slider said over the phone.
He went on to explain Lincoln Cemetery is a non-endowed cemetery and patrons are responsible for whatever happens to their loved ones’ graves. Morrison claimed that information was never relayed to her during her conversations with Slider.
“I wish I would’ve done more research, but I was 19 and had never planned a funeral before,” Morrison said.
There is now a sign posted in the cemetery detailing some of the terms of the non-endowed facility. Slider said it was put up in the last month or so.
Although Morrison would like her mother’s gravestone replaced, she’s afraid that won’t happen.
“Don’t bury your family members here,” Morrison said. “If you have family members buried here, come check on their headstone. Make sure it’s still intact.”
This same cemetery came into question in 2015 when another family couldn’t find their loved one’s headstone. They discovered it buried under grass, and the problem was resolved.