Only On 9: Headstones vandalized at city-owned cemetery

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte family is heartbroken after they found their loved one’s gravestone damaged and at the wrong cemetery.

Derrick Byers died suddenly last summer. He’s buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in north Charlotte.

His younger brother Jaylen Byers says he was surprised to learn Derrick’s grave marker was delivered to Evergreen Cemetery in east Charlotte earlier this month.

That’s where Jaylen Byers says he found some gravestones broken in half and photos missing from a handful of headstones, including his brother’s.

“It’s crazy to me because you would think that they would show a little bit more care and concern for a loved one’s or someone’s stuff,” Jaylen Byers said.

The city of Charlotte owns and operates both cemeteries.

A spokesperson for the city says someone vandalized the cemetery and used a hammer to break the pictures on five uninstalled headstones on Feb. 16.

“His picture was burned off or something like that,” Jaylen Byers said. “It was just a mess, scratches and everything. We looked in the trashcan and there were burnt pictures and everything.”

The spokesperson says the city will cover the cost of repairs.

But Jalen Byers has a message for whoever is responsible.

“You would think that someone would take more care, concern, and considerations into handling something so precious and valuable to some family,” he said.

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