Ellenton funeral home accused of digging shallow graves

Graves disturbed in Ellenton. Who's to blame?

BRADENTON, Fla. - Several grave sites at Adam and Rogers Cemetery are covered with mounds of white sand and marked with a white PVC cross appear to have been attacked by animals and covered with holes and paw prints. 

One photo showed the tip of a plastic bag that the funeral director identified as a body bag.

He complained the graves were too shallow.

The graves belong to D. Alan Moore Funeral Home in Ellenton, which said the graves were buried at proper depth and the cement vault lids were added for additional protection.

The indigent are often buried in the cemetery, a cost that's covered by the funeral home, owner D. Alan Moore said. He described it as his way of giving back to the community.  

But one grave site had a foot-deep hole underneath the lid. Animal tracks also covered the grave.

The setup didn't sit well with Cheryl Hanbury, whose home backs into the 125-year-old cemetery that was once used during segregation to bury African-Americans.

"I don't' think these people should be buried that way with not protective cover for protection," she said. "I wouldn't want family member buried that way."

While the cemetery is classified as abandoned, it doesn't fall under county oversight, county spokesperson Nick Azzara said. But the county's Offender Work Program does help maintain the lawn, remove weeks and pick up debris periodically, said.

The funeral home has been investigated by the Florida Funeral Consumer Services Board for complaints regarding licensing and cremation, but none of the allegations were substantiated. 

State officials have not confirmed if the most recent incident is under investigation. 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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