Suit alleges desecration at Glendale cemetery

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

A Glendale family is suing a neighborhood cemetery after discovering part of a loved one's remains that had resurfaced on top of his grave following a process to hold his headstone in place, the family's attorney said.

Narcisa Arevalo, 49, and her two children paid a visit Friday to the grave of Jorge Vera, Arevalo's son, at Cypress Hills Cemetery, where they discovered the dead man's hat and a piece of his skull sitting on top of the site, attorney Michael Barasch said.

Vera, 27, had died of cancer on Dec. 30, 2006, and was buried four days later at the cemetery, split between Glendale and Brooklyn.

Barasch said the family has since filed a suit in Brooklyn Supreme Court against the cemetery for the trauma caused by seeing part of Vera's remains on the grave site. Under state law, it is illegal to desecrate a corpse, he said.

"The family is devastated," he said. "The mother keeps screaming to me, 'My son is not resting in peace.' She is a very religious woman."

The cemetery could not be reached for comment.

Arevalo said she did not want to comment on the suit.

Arevalo's 14-year-old daughter, Joanne, discovered the remains at the site during Friday's visit, said Barasch. She spotted the hat of Vera's favorite soccer team, the Barcelona Sporting Club of Ecuador, on the site, he said.

Arevalo picked up the hat, which Vera was wearing at the time of his burial, and found a piece of Vera's skull inside, Barasch said.

Workers used a corkscrew-shaped drill to dig into the ground during the process of holding Vera's headstone in place, Barasch said. But they cut too deep into the ground, boring through the casket and severing part of Vera's skull, he said.

"The machine had literally scalped him," Barasch said.

The family had Vera's body disinterred and cremated last weekend, Barasch said, but continues to receive bills for more than $5,000 from the cemetery for disinterring the body, he said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!