Family members frustrated at condition of parts of Riverside Cemetery

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — News10NBC received complaints about the conditions at a local cemetery. We went to see it for ourselves.

What did we find? Graves caved in.

Frustrated family members told us parts of Riverside Cemetery in Rochester are a mess.

“It looks terrible and I don’t care for this. I don’t like this section, period,” said Lydia Wright.

Families who are still mourning the loss of their loved ones, during a visit to Riverside Cemetery off Lake Avenue were shocked and saddened to see the disturbing conditions and say their relatives still can’t rest in peace.

“I was kind of angry when I saw my sister, just a P and an M on the ground, full of mud. So it’s gotta be hurtful,” said Barbara Singleton-Pradia.

Singleton-Pradia buried her sister, Phoebe Mickle, at Riverside last year, in a section near the front of the cemetery. She said something seemed odd during a recent visit to her sister’s grave.

“I noticed some of the graves ,some of them were open, or sunken in,” she said. “And I started moving around looking at more and more graves. The more I looked, the worse it was.”

Singleton-Pradia says a sacred place of rest has been turned upside-down into a place of mess.

“I was hurt. Because I was just thinking what happened, and did they know this happened, and when is it going to be remedied?” she said.

She took to social media to alert people in the community about these troubling conditions: sunken graves, dirt piles, holes in the ground.

“I never experienced a cemetery where the ground looks like it’s a sink hole. And I’m not pleased with Riverside,” Lydia Wright said. Wright’s daughter Phyllis died of brain cancer. She buried her at Riverside Cemetery in March.

Marsha Augustin: How would your daughter feel about being buried here?

Lydia Wright: Oh she would be crying!

Wright is fed up and frustrated. She’s considering having Phyllis moved to another area. She paid $1,000 for her daughter’s plot, plus another $2,000 for two plots — for her and her husband to be buried next to their daughter.

“I don’t want to take my money back from where I paid for these graves and then I have to move my daughter. That’s going to cost me a fortune.” Wright said. “So somebody needs to do something.”

Riverside Cemetery is owned by the city of Rochester. The city told News10NBC that this particular section has a lot of burial services, so it gets worn down. The city will restore the grass and look into any leveling that’s needed, then the area will be hydro-seeded. News10NBC is told that work will start soon.