Mother says she no longer trusts cemetery after son's headstone goes missing

MADISONVILLE, OH (FOX19) - Kimberly Billups and her husband went to visit their son's grave on Memorial Day, but when they got there the headstone was gone.

He's been buried at United American Cemetery for more than a decade.

"It's nowhere to be found," Billups said, standing just outside the cemetery in Madisonville along Duck Creek Road.

She took a picture of her son's headstone and showed FOX19 what it looked like four months ago. Her son's name is Eugene Washington. He died when he was 16 years old from complications from diabetes.

Billups said on Memorial Day all they saw was dirt and disturbed grass, but no headstone. She said this got her thinking of what could have happened, wondering if maybe they buried someone over him.

"Like I said I am not a funeral director. I am not a groundskeeper here. So I don't know but I know the last I have seen my child which was four months ago, there was grass," she said.

Union Baptist Church on West 7th Street manages the property. When FOX19 spoke with the church Tuesday, they said they'd have someone go by Wednesday to check it out. Billups said that didn't happen.

She said a representative told her they'd come out Thursday. When she went to the cemetery Wednesday, the headstone was replaced with an orange marker on a flagpole and a rock.

Etched in the stone was her son's name.

"It seems like to me I am losing him again if you understand what I am saying -- if anyone understands what I am saying -- it's like me losing him again. Oh Lord give me strength. That hurts," she said, breaking out in tears.

Billups hopes the cemetery will replace the headstone and exhume the casket so she can make sure it's her son. She said she no longer trusts the people who run the cemetery.

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