ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (TCD) -- Two 73-year-old men were charged last week after they allegedly dug up their grandmother’s grave over the course of several days in August.
According to a charging document, on Aug. 22, a Berkeley Police Department officer went to Washington Park Cemetery after receiving a call about property damage and located a man, who KSDK-TV identified as Jimmie Allen, "throwing dirt from a grave site." The officer then reportedly saw Zebulun Nash on his cellphone.
Nash reportedly told the officer he was "retrieving his grandmother’s corpse to relocate her body" and that Allen had been assisting him for the last several days. Allen reportedly corroborated the facts and said he "completed most of the digging at the grave site and was helping defendant Nash retrieve his grandmother’s corpse."
Nash was arrested on a charge of attempted destroying or defacing cemetery property, which court records show is a misdemeanor.
Berkeley Police Chief Art Jackson told KSDK that if the men wanted to remove the body, they would need a state order to do so.
Washington Park Cemetery has been in existence for 100 years and, according to the website, is "the final resting place for over 42,000 people, and for many years was one of few cemeteries where the Black community could bury their deceased."
The cemetery’s site said the land is "in a wretched state of neglect and disrepair."
In a post on Facebook, Saving Washington Park said a "lack of oversight and accountability of these sacred grounds" led to the woman’s grave being dug up.
Nash reportedly drove from Houston to St. Louis and "dug 6 feet down against his family’s wishes to find his grandmother’s remains were not there."