Jeffersontown family prepares to bury relative, discovers body already in plot

JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky (WDRB) – A mix-up at the Jeffersontown Cemetery has left a family looking for the correct place to bury their loved one.

An unmarked plot of land was supposed to be the final resting place of 82-year-old Doris Murphy.

After Murphy died last week, her family received a phone call from the funeral home that her plot already had someone in it.

The Murphys purchased three plots in 1973 for $50 each – Doris Murphy was to be buried next to her parents, who are already there.

However, the Murphys say they were told that could not happen because two years ago the unmarked plot was sold to another family who buried someone there but never placed a headstone.

“I have been in the cemetery business a long time ago. I know that the cemeteries keep a plot map in the office. All they have to do is look at the plot map to see who owns the property,” said Murphy’s son, Patrick Desurne.

Desurne said the cemetery has offered to bury his mother in a different part of the cemetery “near the street” and refund the family the initial $50.

“The last offer they made to us was to move her to one of these rows next to the street or take our money and go away,” Desurne said.

In the meantime Murphy is buried in a temporary grave 30 miles away in Bullitt County, her family saying they have had no time to grieve because of the stress.

“We had to put her somewhere,” said Murphy’s brother Willis. “She couldn’t stay in the coffin in the funeral home for a long period of time.”

Murphy’s family believes the relatives of the person already in the plot had no idea the grave was purchased. They know it is a difficult situation for that family as well.

WDRB News reached out several times but have not heard back from representatives of the cemetery.

Murphy’s family says they are now considering legal action.

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.