LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An East Texan makes a bizarre discovery at a scrap metal recycling shop, when they find grave markers being recycled. So we wanted to know if the families of the deceased know the markers are being destroyed.
"I'd never seen anything like that before," said Cheryl Polk, who happened upon the discovery. "Never knew they recycled stuff from the cemetery. It's supposed to be sacred."
Cheryl Polk is still stunned by what she and her husband just happened to see at "Jennings Scrap and Salvage."
"Then I saw that there were two head stones and I'm like, 'This isn't right,'" said Cheryl Polk. "So I snapped my pictures."
...pictures of grave markers, turned in for cash by cemetery employees.
"It gave me a lot of mistrust for a cemetery," said Lamar Polk. "Would they do something like that to me and my family."
It turns out recycling grave markers is legal. So, who is responsible for turning in these? Lakeview Cemeteries in Longview.
"The markers that we took to Jennings Scrap to recycle were markers that had been replaced at the families knowledge," explained Amy Cook, the general manager of Lakeview Cemeteries.
She says the markers were recycled because they were replaced. So, we checked, and sure enough the old markers had been replaced with news ones.
"First, we don't throw tombstones away, ok?" said Cook. "Never throw tombstones away. You'd be throwing them in a dumpster. That's just a disrespectful thing. Our goal at Lakeview is to take care of out families and that's what we do everyday and what we think of everyday."
A show of dignity and respect that puts minds and souls to rest.
Lakeview said they recycle tombstones so they won't harm the environment. The Texas Cemetery Association says state law requires that only cemetery owners are allowed to recycle grave markers. They're required to show proper documentation.