Wounds re-opened for families as loved ones’ graves are dug up in cemetery investigation

Posted at 9:52 AM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 11:52:02-04

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    Prichard, AL (WALA) — In the middle of all of the drama surrounding Heritage Memorial Gardens cemetery, there are families who are having to re-live their grief.

Many of the families were overtaken by emotions as their loved ones graves were dug up.

“I wanna know if my brother in there, that’s all I want to know,” said Grady Denson, brother of Tito Smith.

Smith was shot and killed on St. Stephens Road in April. His grave was the first to big exhumed.

“Ridiculous. It’s crazy. I don’t know how folks do people like that,” Denson said.

Deputies said the vault wasn’t completely sealed and the grave was full of water. Detectives said there was the same problem with the second grave they exhumed, which belongs to LaQuan Packer.

Packer was shot and killed on Doris Faye Williams st. in Prichard back in March.

The final grave dug up Wednesday belongs to Dorothy McGhee. Deputies said there were no issues with that grave.

As people applauded Joseph Bonner’s arrest, some people were there to support the other man at the center of the controversy, Cederick McMillian.

“A lot of people didn’t have money to bury their loved ones. He stepped in and did it out of the kindness of his heart. He’s that kind of person and for something like this to turn around on him for only trying to help someone. It’s horrible,” a supporter said.

As the investigation continues, investigators said more will unravel in this case. They said more people are coming to them with complaints and concerns.

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