News25 Investigates


Woman warning others after alleged disrespect, lack of empathy from local cemetery

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 19:28:05-04

A Central Texas woman is warning others about the disrespect shown to her family members buried at a local cemetery, and it's not the first time the cemetery has come under fire.

Six years ago, Teresa Mays buried her mother at the Doris Miller Cemetery.

On Wednesday when she drove up to have her exhumed and taken to another cemetery, she told 25 News, "My mom was sitting on the corner as like a bag of groceries to come pick up at Walmart or something."

Teresa and her husband were told by the cemetery the process would take place around 2:00 p.m. Instead, the body was already exhumed when they drove up to the plot at 10:00 a.m.

"I exhumed her body today to transfer her over to the Oakwood Cemetery because of the conditions and the problems that Doris Miller has continued to have," she said.

Teresa told 25 News the issues with the cemetery are the same ones she's been fighting since 2014. She even spelled out her concerns in a letter in 2016 to the owner, Janice Matthews.

"The majority of it is when families go out there, they have to go out there and clean their own family headstones because the grass is so high and unkempt," said Mays. "Families can't find their loved ones out there because of misplaced headstones."

Teresa said she finally had enough of the disrespect and lack of empathy from Matthews and paid the $2,000 the cemetery charged her to remove her mother. Unfortunately though, it will cost her much more than that.

"I have my two sisters, my aunt, uncle and my grandmother left out there and you know, being in that business you see deceased bodies but you have to understand, these are our loved ones that we expect to be cared for," she said.

When 25 News stopped by the front office to speak with Matthews, she told us she had no comment.

For Teresa, she says her actions speak louder than words.

When we asked her what she would say to people thinking about possibly putting their loved ones out at the Doris Miller Cemetery, Teresa responded, "Don't! Just like my mom bought six plots way back in the years, if you have a choice, you can re-sell those plots and put your loved ones some place else."

Teresa's mother is now buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Waco.