Officials to Meet Over Dilapidated Cemetery

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- The conditions at a cemetery and mausoleum in Luzerne County have gotten so bad, many families want their loved ones moved somewhere else.

Dozens of families may soon be removing the bodies of their loved ones from The Good Shepherd cemetery in Plains Township.

Officials with Plains Township and the Luzerne County Funeral Directors Association met Thursday to discuss how to either help change the deplorable conditions or to begin the process of exhuming the bodies.

We spoke to officials with both and all say they've never seen anything like this.

The Good Shepherd Cemetery and Mausoleum in Plains Township is supposed to be the final resting place for about 50 people. But the conditions are so bad, officials say it's unfit for anyone living or deceased.

"We taped up the area because as you can see we have concrete roof caving in on the outside of the structure," said Plains Township Deputy Chief Mark Ritsick.

With cracks in the ceiling and bugs everywhere, officials who have inspected the mausoleum say they are considering condemning it. That would open the door for outside help for those who want their loved ones moved to a better place.

"When I came up to tag the building and put the tape up, I did deal with a family that had some deceased buried. They said if they did have the money they would want them removed from here."

Officials with the township and the Luzerne County Funeral Directors Association say they have never dealt with this kind of a situation, and they are working together to figure out what can be done.

"That we get on track with Plains Township and try to help these people with their loved ones, that's the main goal that our association is trying to do and keep it at a cost that someone can afford to it," said Michael Yeosock, Luzerne County Funeral Directors Association member.

Yeosock says if the mausoleum is condemned, they could then get a court order to start removing the bodies.

The association is reaching out to local cemeteries to see if they can help the families make this costly move.

"One of the cemeteries made an offer, he'd have to clear it with his board, but they would give a section of their cemetery and call it the Good Shepherd section."

So far no one from the township or the funeral directors association has been able to get ahold of the owners of Good Shepherd.

2 comments

  • Shawn

    My grandmother and grandpa is in that why it’s a shame how much money and time is past to see that place go to shame we all need to step up and do something about this it brakes my hart

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