Cemetery sued, accused of hiding graves to sell recycled plots

A California cemetery is at the center of a lawsuit over where bodies are, or are not, buried.

Sunnyslope Cemetery in Corona has been cited in a class-action lawsuit that claims that an area of the cemetery has been buried in a few feet of dirt and the headstones were removed so the company can resell the graves.

Arnuflo Felix said that often visited the resting place of his grandfather, who was buried in the 1920s. On one of his last visits, his grandfather's grave disappeared, KABC reported.

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He said the corner of the cemetery where his family member was buried has been cleared, and he believes that his relative, along with other people, are now lying under new dirt to make room so more people can be buried on top of them.

Eva Mejia said a cross that was on her sister’s grave, which is nearby, was found in a maintenance shed.

The area of the cemetery was recently sold to a mosque so the place of worship would have a place for burials, according to Scott Schutzman, the attorney representing families in the suit, KABC reported.

He said the mosque is also a victim.

"I believe fraud was committed and negligence was committed to the mosque who bought the graves. I can't believe that they knew or they would buy occupied graves for their loved ones," Schutzman told KABC.

Detectives were seen digging up a grave. They found a casket that contained human remains 12 feet underground.

"Under the health and safety code, if you recycle graves that have human remains, that's a felony," Schutzman told KABC.

An attorney who represents the property’s owner said he has a report dated two years ago from the Department of Consumer Affairs that calls the allegations unfounded.

The Riverside County district attorney’s office is investigating.

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