Feds May Step In After Burr Oak Desecration

Congress wants to bury any future attempt at reselling graves. 

Members of a U.S. House subcommittee plan to propose legislation for oversight of the cemetery industry after hearing from families with loved ones buried in the desecrated burial ground at Burr Oak.

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection held a hearing on Monday in Chicago that was prompted by accusations that bodies had dug up and dumped at Burr Oak in a moneymaking scheme. Many families affected by the plot delivered emotional testimony before the subcommittee.

"We paid through the nose, my mother sacrificed to make sure somebody who served his community would be buried with dignity," said Roxie Williams, a Hazel Crest resident with family in the cemetary. "We paid a mint to bury my father like the king he was," Williams said, tearing up along the way.

The subcommittee hopes to enact federal laws that would shore up the inconsitent governance already in place. Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes and the executive director of the national Funeral Consumers Alliance told representatives at the hearing said the hodge-podge of laws on currently on the books is severly lacking.

Furthermore, Rev. Jesse Jackson testified that cemeteries should be required to provide more information online. Committee member Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., recommended deeding grave sites to families.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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