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"It's heartbreaking to see grass up to my knees," Issues continue at the Bethesda Cemetery even after new leadership in place

It's only been a few months since new leadership took over Bethesda Cemetery in West Terre Haute. Now it seems the previous problems have only continued at the cemetery.

Posted: Aug 14, 2019 8:20 AM
Updated: Aug 14, 2019 9:45 AM

WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- It's only been a few months since new leadership took over the Bethesda Cemetery in West Terre Haute. Now it seems the previous problems have only continued at the facility.

We've told you before that plots were mistreated and the grass was overgrown. Many were hopeful that with new leaders in place there would be a change in the conditions. Unfortunately, the previous issues cannot be changed until certain documents are handed over to the new board members.

Many say the former owner, Bill McClain, won't turn over the books on file to be audited to make that change.

News 10 did reach out to McClain, he did not comment on the issue.

Due to the lack of documentation, simple tasks like mowing cannot be completed regularly. Therefore, previous issues of overgrown grass and theft have continued. 

Thelma Smith is just one of many with family members buried at the cemetery. She takes pride in the plots on the property and makes wreaths for every season. She says there's been some change but it's not moving forward in the direction it could be.

"Everybody's getting the same feeling they had before because nothing is being done. It's so heartbreaking to see grass up to your knees, things not being fixed, big deep holes to drive through and things like that," Smith said.

With the colder months right around the corner, Smith and others, are hopeful changes can be made soon. Smith says those changes can only be made with the help from everyone.

"Like I said it's come a long way since the grass was cut and everybody started having a fit and getting mad and I don't blame anyone because I was too but it has to be everybody working together," Smith.

This is a developing story and News 10 will continue to follow the progress of the cemetery as we learn more.

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