Consumer Calls NBC 5 to Resolve Yearlong Headstone Dispute

As if burying her favorite aunt wasn't hard enough, Wynona Stone is now faced with yet another struggle. 

Her aunt Aline passed away in 1999 and her mom died last year. Both were missing the date of death on their headstones.

"We couldn't make the money right then and there," Stone said.

But last November, Stone and her sister scraped up enough cash to pay for their date plates. They paid Hughes Family Tribute Center about $400 for the date plates and expected both to be installed in a month or two.

But each time Stone and her sister visited the gravesite, the dates were still missing. Stone called the funeral home to find out why it was taking so long. 

"They said they order them out in California and as soon as they come in that they'd notify us," she said. "But we were never notified."

By spring, Stone said her mom's date plate was finally installed. But her aunt's still wasn't there. 

Stone's aunt's name was eventually taken off the headstone. She thought it was a sign that a new plate was coming soon. 

So Stone and I decided to go to the funeral home together to find out why this has taken nearly a year.

"There's nothing there and it doesn't prove that she even existed! It's a shame," Stone said.

After about five minutes of waiting, the owner pulled the date plate out of the drawer. 

The owner tells NBC 5 Responds "The bronze manufacturer for this plate is no longer in business and it took time to find a company that could make a matching plate. The first plate, unbeknownst to us, was delivered to the cemetery after hours on a Saturday and left at the door. We were unaware that it had been delivered and didn't realize it was missing for a few weeks, because bronze has a lengthy manufacturing time frame and this was a special order. Once we realized it had been delivered, and was most likely stolen, we paid to have a second plate made. In order to get the second plate here as quickly as possible, we also paid to have it expedited." 

That same day, the funeral home finally installed the plate on the headstone.  Putting Stone at ease. 

The funeral home, which also owns Crown Hill Memorial Park, says they tried to keep the family up to date on the status, as new information was received.  "Most of the delays have been outside of crown hill's control, but we are looking at the process to see if we can make internal changes that could have reduced the time it took...One step already taken is the change with Federal Express, which should help eliminate the need for a second plate needing to be ordered."

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