Kansas City homicide victim’s family waits 13 months for headstone

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of a Kansas City, Missouri, homicide victim said they’ve waited more than a year for the headstone for his grave site.

Sherese Matthews said this is despite paying for it, and their countless phone calls and emails to follow-up. Their next call was to the FOX4 Problem Solvers for help.

It’s been 13 months since Matthews has seen her dad, Larry Dickerson.

Prosecutors say Syan Crawford stabbed the Army veteran to death. Dickerson was working maintenance at an apartment complex and called the police on Crawford for sleeping a stairwell.

Police believe the attack was retaliation.

“It really hurts,” Matthews said. “It makes you want to do better with your life. It makes you want to continue to fight.”

But Matthews says she never expected this fight.

She showed FOX4 a $1,000 paid invoice with 12 Gates Memorial Gardens for Dickerson’s head stone. She bought it just two weeks after his August 2020 death.

Matthews says months went by, and still, an empty plot.

“I’ve had family members that had trouble locating the plot when they arrived because there’s nothing there,” Matthews said. “It hurts. It makes you feel like even after you’ve paid for a service, was your money respected?”

Matthews says finally in March, she was asked to approve the art for the stone. The employee writes in an email they’ll ‘send it to the stone maker.’

Still, Matthews said nothing came after that.

It’s heartbreaking for Dickerson’s granddaughter, Renee Matthews.

“He was in the military, the Army, so I think it would be respectful for him to have a headstone,” Renee Matthews said. “Not only that, it was promised to us and it’s been a whole year.”

FOX4 learned 12 Gates Memorial Gardens has a C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited.

We contacted the owner, Saundra McFadden-Weaver, and were told in part: “We will install the stone [Tuesday] during business hours…We always endeavor to render good quality customer service.”

Crawford’s trial is scheduled to start in February after being delayed due to COVID-19.

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