Washington Park Cemetery so neglected visitors can see into crypt

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by Larry Conners / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 6:27 PM

BERKELEY, Mo (KMOV.com) -- News 4 was alerted to a crypt at the Washington Park Cemetery in Berkley that had gotten in such bad shape human remains were exposed for any visitor to see.

News 4’s Larry Conners went to Washington Park to find out how the cemetery got in such bad shape and what’s being done to correct the problem.

He spoke to the owner of the grounds, Kevin Bailey, who said the responsibility isn’t necessarily his.

“Without an endowment it’s up to the families to keep up,” Bailey said.

He bought the cemetery three years ago because he wanted to care for his father who is buried there. Bailey said he was only two-years-old when his dad passed away.

Bailey says he has support from various community leaders. He says schools come and help him clean up, but in the end it just isn’t enough.

When we alerted him to the crypt, he was concerned. After seeing the situation first hand, he said it was tough to imagine what he would do if it were his family member’s remains.

“It would be terrible,” Bailey said. “I would be devastated about the situation.”

Regardless of the amount of help he has keeping up the grounds, Bailey is still the owner of the cemetery, and ultimately responsible for its condition.

He acknowledges that fact and says he has a plan to help improve the care.

“Well, I’ve applied for a 501 C to set this up as a non profit situation,” he said. “So any donations will be a tax write off then set up an endowment from there.”

Bailey says he will get the remains moved and properly buried.

Washington Park Cemetery is the final resting place for about 40,000 bodies.

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