The NJ State Division of Consumer Affairs Cemetery Board has been notified of a potential case of neglect found at a cemetery in Union County on Sunday.
Residents visiting family members at the Evergreen Cemetary in Hillside on Sunday were shocked to see caskets stacked up as high as seven deep with at least one of the coffins opened and rodents inside the casket with the body.
A woman who visited Evergreen Cemetery on Sunday said she visited the burial ground to check if her grandmother was buried, but when she arrived, she couldn't believe what she had witnessed.
According to the woman, management initially told her that they are only five secured graves side by side, but after a conversation with cemetery officials today, she found out they were actually stacking eight to ten caskets on top of each other.
"We tried to tell the manager that one of the caskets was open and a body was exposed, but the manager didn't respond."
When reached by phone today, a female manager of the cemetery said she would not comment on the incident then hung up the phone.
According to the woman, the manager did reach out to her by phone minutes after speaking to RLS Media and stated that the issue was corrected and all caskets were properly placed in the ground.
It is not clear who opened the casket and for what purpose at this time.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, funeral homes and cemetery directors described a drastic surge in demand unseen in decades from COVID-19. According to the NJ Department of Health, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus has infected 998,000 in New Jersey and has claimed the lives of 25,380 as of Friday.