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Valley mother waiting to bury son after cemetery put relative's body 'in the wrong spot'

Valley mother waiting to bury son after cemetery put relative's body 'in the wrong spot'
Posted at 9:45 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 00:19:25-05

PHOENIX — A Phoenix mother said she is unable to bury her young son in a reserved plot because a funeral home mistakenly placed a relative in the wrong section.

Twyla Boatley lost her son Michael Loving Jr. on January 25. The 16-year-old was shot and killed near 35th Avenue and Thomas Road.

Phoenix police quickly made an arrest, but more than two weeks after the shooting, Michael has still not been laid to rest.

Boatley told ABC15 that the Resthaven/Carr-Tenney Mortuary in Phoenix made a mistake with her family's plot, which was purchased by her grandfather decades ago.

She claims the funeral home buried a relative next to her father without permission from her uncle, who owns the plot.

"The cemetery put my cousin’s body in the wrong spot," said Boatley. "Not only did they put him in the wrong spot, they did not get permission from the person whose spot it is... and they are not interested in fixing that."

Boatley said her uncle even drove from out-of-state this month to sign papers and try to get the mortuary to rectify the situation.

"He drove more than a thousand miles, [but] they’re refusing to let my uncle sign his plot over to me because his plot has been given away," she said.

The mother says other solutions are less than ideal. She said she could pay "lots of money" to have her cousin dug up and moved, or have her son placed in another nearby spot and "lose the rights to my child since I don't own the plot."

The stress is preventing her from grieving. "I'm very frustrated, but at the same time I have to keep my emotions under control because I’m still trying to put my son in the ground," said Boatley.

"I still need to go find another cemetery. So I really don’t have time to let emotions take place."

The area she is fighting for was right next to her father and grandfather. "I don't want my son nowhere else," said Boatley.

The mother though, is now looking at other cemeteries. "I feel like they should correct the situation," she said. "I'm just going to have to find another place."

ABC15 reached out to 'Resthaven/Carr-Tenney Mortuary & Memorial Gardens' for comment.

A general manager said the company does not share details or comment on a family's private situation.