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Oak Grove Cemetery owner sued for alleged unkept facilities

By Mark Payne | Jan 28, 2015

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster | Missouri Attorney General's Office

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit against the owner of Oak Grove Mausoleum Company and Oak Grove Cemetery Association on Tuesday after receiving more than 45 complaints about the care of the cemetery and the mausoleum.

The suit alleged that Marilyn Stanza, who is the owner of both companies, failed to properly maintain the cemetery and mausoleum, charged excessively high fees for moving the deceased and subjected families to long delays in receiving grave markers after they were purchased. 

"The Oak Grove Cemetery is not being maintained in a manner consistent with the level of dignity promised," Koster said. "Either the cemetery should be immediately restored to the level of care that was advertised, or families should be allowed to move their loved ones to a more suitable place without needless delay or exorbitant fees."

The suit alleged Stanza's companies failed to mow the lawn at the cemetery, fix damages to the mausoleum, stop repeated theft and vandalism and repair open crypts.

"This is the first step in getting relief for the families of those laid to rest at the cemetery," Koster said. "Our investigation remains ongoing, particularly as it relates to the financial management of the cemetery and mausoleum. We will demand answers for how conditions were allowed to deteriorate to this level."

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