The Town of North Judson has released documents pertaining to an occupied grave that one local family says belongs to them.
Public officials began a dialogue with members of the Derrickson family after it was learned that a non-related individual had been buried in a grave plot they have owned for about 20 years in Highland Cemetery.
Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry met with members of the family at the site to review the issue with four grave plots earlier this year, according to the documents. WKVI requested correspondence after the Clerk-Treasurer’s office indicated the matter was a public records request.
Despite the family’s desire to move the individual, the North Judson Town Council decided to present the Derrickson’s with three alternative options. In a letter dated May 6th to the Derrickson family, the Town Council says it has a moral and legal duty to protect the sanctity of the dead and would not authorize the disinterment.
The Town Council offered to deed neighboring grave plots to the family at no charge to make good on what the Town admits was a “measurement error.” Finding grave plots free of charge in another part of Highland Cemetery was also listed as a possibility.
The Town says that 12 feet should be available for three of the graves, but only eight feet are available.
WKVI has previously spoken with a member of the Derrickson family – who said that none of the options presented will work for them. Marilyn Derrickson said they are prepared to move forward legally if action is not taken to remove the body.
The Town of North Judson is not publicly commenting on the matter at this time.