Mismarked Grave Leads To Lawsuit Against State Representative
Posted April 28, 2004
DURHAM, N.C. — A woman who lost her daughter to cancer said she cannot find the burial site. The reason: mismarked graves.
Her solution: suing the cemetery owners, including state representative Mickey Michaux.
A cemetery can offer comfort and peace. But that has not been the case for Dorothy Miles.
"The crying, the sleepless nights, the wondering, the not knowing," Miles said.
Miles' daughter, 7-year-old Lanesha, died four years ago after a struggle with cancer. A few months after the funeral, her parents went to visit the gravesite. They said the marker was missing.
Then, they went back a second time.
"When we went to place flowers on what we once thought was my daughter's grave, it was pulled up and set aside," Miles said of the grave marker. "Another marker was there with another person's name on it."
The Miles family blames the cemetery along with J&P Memorials, the company that made the marker.
Michaux and his brother, Eric, own the cemetery. Both lawyers, they are representing themselves against a lawsuit filed by the Miles.
The Michauxs said they will not talk on camera until the trial ends. But they clamed the mixup is not their fault -- They point to J&P Memorials.
The family has been assured that the marker sits on the right grave. But Miles said the only way to be sure is to exhume Lanesha's body -- something she will not consider.
"That would cause more depression, more trauma," Miles said. "And two, if you go to exhume the body, and it's not Lanesha's remains, you're disturbing someone else's grave."