After they reportedly excavated their grandmother’s grave over many days in August, two 73-year-old men were accused last week.
A court document states that on August 22, a Berkeley Police Department officer responded to a report of property damage at Washington Park Cemetery and saw a guy, later identified by KSDK-TV as Jimmie Allen, “throwing dirt from a grave site.” Zebulun Nash was then allegedly seen by the police using his cell phone.
According to reports, Nash informed the officer that Allen had been helping him for the past few days and that he was “retrieving his grandmother’s corpse to relocate her body.” Claiming to have “completed most of the digging at the grave site and was helping defendant Nash retrieve his grandmother’s corpse,” Allen attested to the facts.
Man Arrested for Attempted Cemetery Destruction in Quest for Missing Grandmother’s Remains
According to court documents, Nash was charged with a misdemeanour of trying to destroy or deface cemetery property, which led to his detention. Berkeley Police Chief Art Jackson said KSDK that the men would require state authorization to remove the body.
According to the website, Washington Park Cemetery has been around for a century and is “the burial site for more than 42,000 people, and was among the few graveyards where the Black community could bury their loved ones for many years.”
Site information on the graveyard said that the property is “in a horrible state of neglect and deterioration.” A “lack of oversight and accountability of these sacred grounds” is what caused the woman’s burial to be dug up, according to a Facebook post by Saving Washington Park.
According to reports, Nash “dug six feet down against his family’s wishes to find his grandmother’s remains were not there” after travelling from Houston to St. Louis. The following court date for Nash is set for December 12.