Families furious after discovering damage to plant life around tombstones in Bloomingdale
BLOOMINGDALE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - People in a Van Buren County community are furious after discovering grassy areas and plants around the tombstones of their loved ones were heavily damaged.
Many say this damage is most severe at the Evergreen Cemetery.
Bloomingdale Township officials say the landscapers that maintain the cemeteries have apparently sprayed weed killers around the monuments and markers, causing dead patches of grass.
"This is one place we can remember her. She loved books. She read books," said Wynne Hurlbut. Her granddaughter Kelli was murdered by her father in 2008.
The final resting place for the 7-year-old girl is at the Evergreen Cemetery, in Bloomingdale.
"This used to be green. It was all green," Hurlbut said.
But Kelli's gravesite looks a lot different recently.
"I feel this is our property. We paid for this lot. We are caring for the lot. If they wanted us to do something different they can just ask," Hurlbut said.
Officials say it appears a weed killer had been sprayed near the estimated one thousand-plus gravesites in Bloomingdale Township.
"I get to a lot of cemeteries in Michigan and other states, and I've honestly never seen this done," said Floyd Decker, with D.L. Miller Funeral Home.
Decker has heard complaints since Monday.
"What we're seeing today will only get worse with the hot sun beating down on it," he said.
J.R. Landscaping has a contract with Bloomingdale Township to maintain and care for the five cemeteries in town.
The company is owned by Cornerstone A.G., whose CEO told Newschannel 3 they are investigating the matter.
The CEO did tell us off-camera that weed killer was likely the cause of the problem.
"I don't know why they did this. No clue," said Bloomingdale Township Supevisor Richard Stone.
Stone tells us he is looking into what happened..
"Obviously some words got twisted, or somebody done something nobody else knew about," he said.
It's not clear at this point who would be responsible for any damages. The township's attorney is reviewing the contract it has with the landscaping company.