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Petersburg family arrives at cemetery after funeral to find no grave: ‘It already hurts enough’

Posted at 12:06 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 14:06:29-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- It was a sight a Petersburg family never thought they would see. After arriving at the cemetery following their loved one's funeral, no grave had been dug.

“It’s ridiculous. It shouldn’t have happened like this," said Tim Browder.  “I come out here, they don’t have nothing. No tent, no dig, no holes in the ground."

Wednesday was a day that should have been about burying and remembering Renee Browder, the Petersburg mother of two, who was hit and killed by a stray bullet on July 22. 

Instead family and friends spent the day wondering why her gravesite wasn’t prepared for her funeral.

“It already hurts enough that I have to bury one of my kids," said Karen Johnson, Browder's mother.

Browder's mother Karen Johnson said they owed the funeral home $3,000 before the funeral, but were only able to drop off and pay a partial amount, after business hours.

"She had to sit in the back of a hearse for an hour just to get your gravesite dug, that should have already been done," said Charles Bish, Browder's brother.

CBS 6 talked with workers off-camera with the private company who prepares gravesites for funerals. They told CBS 6 they didn’t get the call to come out until after the family had arrived,  and that they are told when and where to be by the funeral home.

“I don’t know where the miscommunication came from but someone needs to be held accountable for what they did," Bish said. “I just pray that this doesn’t happen to another family. Because like my mom said, it’s already emotional as it today that we had to lay my sister to rest."

CBS 6 reached out to the cemetery and funeral home Wednesday evening and are waiting to hear back.

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