It's a pain no parent ever expects to face - burying their own child. But one Nashville mother recently went to visit her son's grave and was shocked by what she found.
"That's my baby's headstone. It's been there for almost 16 years, and now it's like he's home with me," Tonya Bolton said.
Bolton said she brought her son's headstone home from Greenwood Cemetery after she said it was broken and later removed from his grave site.
Her son was just a few months old when he died, and ever since his death Bolton has made regular visits to the cemetery. So when she noticed the damaged headstone, she asked a cemetery employee what had happened.
"He says it was an accident," Bolton said. "He said, 'I backed over it.'"
A few weeks later, Bolton said she again visited her son's grave, but she was horrified to see an angel statue that had watched over her son for nearly 16 years was gone.
"Beside this dumpster I see, like, a tarp and other things and trash sitting there on the ground, and my baby's headstone was there," Bolton said.
Bolton said for the past few months she has repeatedly tried to speak with cemetery management but has received no response.
Norman Reed, general manager of Greenwood Cemetery, sent Channel 4 News a statement and a copy of the cemetery's rules. He said they don't have evidence that the cemetery's rules were followed in the placement of a marker at Bolton's son's grave.
But Reed added the cemetery staff would assist Bolton in obtaining an approved memorial and expressed regrets for any confusion in the situation.
Bolton said for the past 16 years she has never received any notice of a policy violation. She also said she would like to see her son's angel statue replaced.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.