Family outraged over burial mishap at Midvale City Cemetery

Jun 15, 2022, 7:54 AM | Updated: 7:57 am

MIDVALE, Utah — A family expressed outrage Tuesday over city workers taking multiple days to complete the burial of their loved one.

Jodie Keller said the funeral for her father, 78-year-old Lawrence Raymond Escarciga, took place Friday, but the burial site wasn’t properly covered over and finished until Monday.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful, and heartbreaking,” an emotional Keller told KSL TV. “This was the final thing that needed to take place and Midvale City failed us.”

Keller said she first became aware of a problem when she returned to the Midvale City Cemetery at 9:30 p.m. Friday with her husband and the gravesite only had temporary coverings over it.

“To add insult to injury, they had placed a road cone on top of his grave,” Keller said.

Keller noted that the site of another funeral Friday had been covered over that same day.

She said her father’s, however, continued to be incomplete Saturday and Sunday until she and her husband attempted multiple times to reach the mayor and finally got a response.

On Monday morning, crews filled in the gravesite — a process the family said took only 31 minutes and should have been done far, far sooner.

“They waited until Monday,” an incensed Keller said. “My dad’s grandkids were so distraught, they wanted to purchase dirt and bury their grandpa.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Midvale City Manager Matt Dahl took ownership of the ordeal.

“This will never happen again,” he pledged, noting the city had already taken steps to prevent a similar issue in the future.

He chalked up what happened to a combination of low staffing among regulars at the cemetery and confusion over how to resolve challenges involving tree roots and irrigation lines.

“I cannot express how sorry we are about the fact that we did not allow them — the family — to have their closure that they deserved over this past weekend because of the mistakes that we made,” Dahl said.

Keller said she will always remember her father as an “extraordinary dad” and a “good, good man.” After what she described as a “beautiful” funeral service, Keller lamented that the veteran and former Midvale volunteer firefighter wasn’t attended to properly by the city he served.

“To have this be the final result — unimaginable,” she said. “I hope no one ever has to go through what we did — ever.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Randy Martin working on a reading station in West Valley City. (KSL-TV's Mike Anderson)...
Mike Anderson

Utah air quality is continuing to get worse, says USU professor

A Utah State University professor says that Utahns are breathing some of the worst air we've seen in over a decade.
1 day ago
The area where first responders rescued the two people (Weber Fire District)...
Michael Houck

Two rescued from Pineview Reservoir after falling through ice

Officials are warning residents of thin ice after two people needed rescuing from the Pineview Reservoir Saturday morning. 
1 day ago
(KSL TV)...
Michael Houck

Police: Man threatening neighbors with knife, leads officers in multi-agency chase

A man is in police custody after "waving" a knife around bystanders and fleeing from police Friday evening.
1 day ago
Presenters at the Health Relationship Youth Summit asking for final questions. (KSL-TV's Mark Less)...
Alex Cabrero

Utah teens learn more about healthy relationships at youth summit

Teenagers gathered at a Healthy Relationship Youth Summit to learn more about the signs of unhealthy relationships and be able to identify them.
1 day ago
snow covered bowl in Utah mountains...
Michael Houck

Woman hit by snowmobile while tubing near Peter Sinks, flown to U of U hospital

First responders treated a woman hit by a snowmobile while tubing near the Peter Sinks area Saturday afternoon.
1 day ago
For 29 years, Mike Skogerboe has been to nearly every girls and boys basketball game, and nearly ev...
Mike Anderson

Fremont High School helps support their superfan

Students and teachers at Fremont High School teamed up to help out their superfan who rarely misses a game.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Family outraged over burial mishap at Midvale City Cemetery