Rumors of floating bodies drive families to check on loved ones

Fallen trees and flooding have damaged graves.

BRADENTON, Fla. — There's a rumor that flood waters in Bradenton caused bodies to float out of their caskets in an abandoned cemetery.

Fortunately, no bodies were found.

But there were plenty of people who were concerned about their loved one's graves at Adams and Rogers Cemetery.

The rumors started when a large tree succumbed to Hurricane Irma's winds, and as it did, uprooted the final resting place of Willie Parson, who passed away in 1983.

His coffin broke through the protective lid and caused at least a half-dozen people to check on their loved ones.

“I came out here because they said bodies was like floating...and I had to come and check on my brother,” Constance Peterson said.

Peterson found no damage, but others weren't as fortunate.

Water pooled as some sunk further into the ground.

Families walked together, taking debris with them and being thankful that the rumor was just that. 

“My mom's resting," Carolyn Peterson said. She's still resting. She's not up. My grandmother's not up. My great-grandmother's not up. My granddad's not up. My uncle's not up. My brother's still in place. They're resting. There's a huge tree that has fallen. but it didn't hit any of our graves. I'm just so grateful.”

Hurricane Irma has left the cemetery in a deplorable condition, and Carolyn Peterson said the community should help clean it up.

While most graves were fine, we're looking for the next-of-kin for Willie Person, whose grave was damaged. If you know where his family is, reach out to reporter Mark Rivera at facebook.com/markrivera.

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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