Delaware County seeks new owner for cemetery after owners go to prison

LEWIS CENTER, OH (WCMH) – County prosecutor Carol O’Brien is stepping in to help those swindled out of thousands of dollars.

NBC4 first told you about a couple who owns Fairview Memorial Park in Lewis Center in Delaware. Theodore and Arminda Martin are accused of not keeping it up the cemetery, and receiving payment for plots, vaults, and grave markers, all of which were never provided after payment.

Weeds and a piece of paper marks where James Even’s wife and sister in law are buried. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

“Not good. My wife promised her sister when she passed that she would do a memorial for her.  We purchased the memorial paid cash, got a receipt. The memorial never was delivered,” said Evans.

Evans said he paid the Martin’s $2300.  It’s an unsettling feeling comes over him as he wraps his mind around how much money he’s been cheated out of two years ago. To make matters worse, the grounds aren’t being cared for since the Martins went to prison.

It’s a community problem that Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien says needs to be fixed.  Her office reached out to NBC4 wanting to get the word out that looking for someone to purchase or oversee the grounds.

“The law requires that a cemetery that’s been abandoned certain steps can be taken to clear a title and make sure that the cemetery is kept up, ” said O’Brien.

She said the kindness of strangers has kept the cemetery looking presentable, but finding new owners is vital.

“That cemetery needs to be taken care of, there’s a lot of veterans there and we need to show our respect,” said O’Brien.

If you’re interested in buying or overseeing the cemetery contact the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office at 740-833-2690.

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