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Cemetery's mistake leaves Windsor family in tears

  • Martina Alvarez and her son Bulmaro Ramirez cry after finding Shiloh Cemetery officials moving the body of Martina's son Enrique Ramirez Alvarez, who was killed when he fell from a pickup on Hwy 101 in Santa Rosa on Dec. 22, 2010. The cemetery sold the family the plot, but now claim the plot was already sold for the living wife of a man buried next to the one containing Alvarez.

Ramirez, the son of a farm laborer and oldest of four siblings, immigrated to Windsor from Mexico when he was 10. He attended Cali Calmecac Language Academy before graduating from high school. His family's lawyer, Andy Martinez, said he was looking into a possible wrongful death lawsuit against the pickup driver.

Martinez said the family was contacted by the cemetery about a week after the funeral and told about the mishandled remains. He was planning to confer with the family when he learned Monday the grave had been opened, he said.

"It's bad form and pretty rude," Martinez said. "I question what the urgency was."

Casket Moved In Shiloh Cemetery

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But the cemetery's lawyer, Bill Arnone, said the plot belonged to someone else and the cemetery was acting legally.

He said he called Martinez numerous times including late last week to inform him the cemetery intended to make the switch in a couple of days. He didn't hear back so he went ahead, he said.

"We tried to make contact over and over again," Arnone said. "I'm a little annoyed we find ourselves in this situation."

Ramirez's younger brother, Bulmaro Ramirez, 20, said the cemetery should have made other arrangements for the couple. About 200 people attended the funeral Dec. 29 for his brother, whom he described as a creative person struggling with epilepsy.

"It's wrong to move him," he said. "You can't do something like that. We already cried for Enrique there."


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