Man walking his dog stumbles upon forgotten Petersburg cemetery

Posted at 11:48 PM, May 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-26 12:46:30-04

Watch CBS 6 News at 6 p.m. Monday for Wayne Covil's update on this story. 

PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) -- Several weeks ago, Donny Hicks was walking his dog when he came across an abandoned cemetery in Petersburg.

Hicks contacted CBS 6 about the conditions and showed reporter Chelsea Rarrick the area on Friday. The wooded glen had high grass and numerous trees, one of which had fallen on top of a headstone.

"I didn't even realize these graves were over here.... I'm disgusted," said Hicks, who pointed out that many of the graves belong to veterans.


Hicks was floored by the conditions of the area.

"These are people's graves," said Hicks. "They shouldn't be neglected like this."

Hicks said he's made several calls around the area to find out who's responsible for maintaining it.

CBS 6 also questioned Travis Banks, an employee for Virginia Burial Supply. The company owns Wilkerson Memorial Cemetery and Eastview Cemetery that borders the abandoned area. However, Banks said Virginia Burial Supply doesn't own that particular land.

"We've tried to contact the city and they say they don't know whose it is," said Banks. "It belongs to somebody, but they can't figure it out [and] we can't figure it out."

Although Banks has been told it's not his businesses' responsibility, Banks said they are working to try and figure out a way to help.

"We want to go in there and clean it up the best we can," said Banks.


CBS 6 also reached Petersburg Spokeswoman Esther Hyatt, who said that the city only owns Blanford Cemetery and People's Memorial Cemetery.

CBS 6 asked about records to find out who is responsible for that particular property, but Hyatt said that city offices were already closed because of the Memorial Day holiday and that would not open until Tuesday morning.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for continuing coverage of this important local story.

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