Winnipeg family shocked to find late son's memorial removed without notice
A Winnipeg family is in disbelief after discovering their late son’s temporary grave marker was removed from his plot without notice from the cemetery.
Bobbi and Ross Bottle said a temporary marker, along with personal items that were placed at their son’s plot at Sage Creek Cemetery & Crematorium were suddenly removed without notice this summer.
The cemetery’s owner said the site needed a cleanup, in a phone call with CTV News Monday.
“We came out and noticed all of our son's items were missing,” said Bobbi Bottle.
“Me and my husband just sat here and cried.”
Bobbi said their son Cayden passed away on December 1st, 2015 at the age of 5 due to complications with Cerebral Palsy.
They family said due to financial reasons, they placed a temporary marker along with personal items in Cayden’s memory on the grave.
The family said they noticed the belongings were removed on July 13, without any notice.
On August 2, the family noticed their marker was also taken away.
The Bottles said other temporary markers were gone as well.
“First thing I thought is why do you have this cross and she said she found it by the shed,” said Ross Bottle.
Ross said the family was deeply hurt by the ordeal and wanted a heads-up about the clearing.
Willie Mandryk, owner of Sage Creek Cemetery, said the site needed a clean-up after items were blown away from the wind, grass needed to be cut, and some land needed to be leveled.
“To me it was a mess, and to me it had to be cleaned up,” said Mandryk.
He said he took ownership of the property from the former Wheeler Funeral Home.
The province revoked Wheeler's funeral director’s license in January and the funeral home was placed into court ordered receivership.
Mandryk said the business records he inherited were poor.
“I didn't have the contact numbers, I couldn’t ask them to do something, so I put the temporary markers on the side,” said Mandryk.
The owner said he’ll work with families to rebuild the plots and has a master list of all the graves to find where each plot is precisely placed.
He says families can have their temporary markers on the plots until permanent ones are brought in.