Baby's memorial stone was removed by city

Posted at 5:39 PM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 10:54:23-04

A family who thought their son’s memorial stone had been stolen from a Glendale park now knows it was the city who took it, after the family says they have permission for it to be there. 

On Jan. 26, Heather and Adam Drinovsky dedicated a tree and memorial stone to honor their three-day old baby Gavin who died unexpectedly last year. 

Yesterday, Gavin’s parents found out the engraved stone was gone.

“It’s just like another punch to the gut, kind of," Adam Drinovsky said yesterday.

Today, they learned the City of Glendale removed it.

“We’re very heartbroken by this, and not only did the city take our baby Gavin’s stone without letting us know, they also said that we can’t put it back there when they had already told us it was okay," Heather Drinovsky said.

She says the parks manager had approved it and was there when the stone was placed. But the city says they were caught off guard when the family brought the engraved stone. 

“As sensitive as the situation was, staff indicated they go ahead and leave the stone there for a couple of weeks, but then it would have to be removed," said Michael Gregory, Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services administrator. “Apparently there was a miscommunication gap."

Heather says it’s not a matter of miscommunication, but a lack of it, saying she wasn’t told this was a temporary deal.

“Not on the day of the tree planting like he mentioned in his email to me or not any time before or since then," she said. 

Regardless, the parents wish the city would’ve just let them know of their policy from the beginning and that they were removing it, instead of the family believing it had been stolen. 

“We live with the pain daily of our son always missing and always missing him, and this is something that we did in honor of him," Heather Drinovsky said. 

Gregory said he advised Gavin's parents to attend a city council meeting and try to change the city's policy to allow engraved memorial stones at parks.