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Man Wants Answers over Mother's Sunken Grave

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WESLACO – The family of a woman buried at the Weslaco city cemetery said her grave site sank.

Resident Chris De Anda said he found his mother’s grave in shambles went he visited on Mother’s Day.

“I just imagine how much damage the casket took… It just really hurts, it hurts,” he said.

De Anda said he was told a broken water sprinkler pipe near the grave might have caused the ground to sink.

“When I spoke to the city worker that was there, he explained to me saying that we placed something that caused a pipe to burst,” he said.

De Anda was referring to a cross at the center of his mother’s grave.

Citing ordinance regulations, Weslaco Parks and Recreation Director David Arce said objects like a cross aren’t allowed to be placed on graves.

Arce couldn’t say how many times staff makes sure plots are in compliance with the rules. He did, however, admit he doesn’t know if it was actually the cross that broke the pipe.

“I’m not under the ground, so I guess I can’t tell you that,” he said.

De Anda said he wasn’t satisfied.

“Why is it that they buried her there if they knew that there was a pipe lining there?” he questioned.

Arce said the sprinkler system at the cemetery was not tested at first.

“We didn’t do such a great job at maintaining the sprinkler system, but as of right now, we’ve been working on it little by little,” he said.

A CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew saw the sprinkler head below where flowers were placed on De Anda’s mother’s grave. We asked Arce why that was.

“It’s really just the position,” he said.

Arce said the grave is covering a larger area than it should due to the ground not being settled. He explained once it settles, the head of the plot will shift and level out.

Either way, De Anda said he doesn’t want this to happen to any other family.

“You want to go see her in peace, you know, not her suffering even after,” he said.

The city of Weslaco has six staff members responsible for parks, the city cemetery and city office landscaping.

Arce said they’re in the process of ordering signs to post rules at the cemetery.

The following are updated rules and regulations the city of Weslaco approved for cemeteries in 2016:

  • Planting of trees, shrubs or plants is prohibited

  • Plots should not have more than two vases

  • Flowers are not allowed to be placed directly on the plot

  • Fencing, enclosure, edging, iron or wire works are also not allowed

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