11 Investigates UPDATE: Cemetery agrees to fix grave mistake

FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. — A Fayette County family finally has some peace and closure tonight after a grave mistake caused them five months of distress.

Just two days after 11 Investigates told the story of Pam and Don Teets finding someone else buried in the grave plot they bought next to their son, a deal has been worked out to right the wrong at Normalville Cemetery.

“It was a long rough road, and I really, really, appreciate your help,” Pam Teets told 11 Investigates Angie Moreschi, via Zoom today.

Her husband Don, sitting by her side, added, “If it wasn’t for Channel 11 news and you, I don’t think we’d have them (the grave plots).”

Get the Deed

The Teets showed 11 Investigates the official paperwork notarized and sealed at the Fayette County courthouse. The Quit Claim deed guarantees they now own the two plots on right side of their son Jeffrey’s grave.

“It’s a big relief off my chest that I will be beside my son Jeff,” Pam said. “I would not want anybody, anybody, to go through what we went through.”

The Teets originally bought the two plots next to their son on the left side. They took comfort in knowing they would be laid to rest next to him, after losing their son at such a young age. Jeffrey died of an accidental overdose of pain pills at age 36, after battling multiple health issues.

But as Channel 11 first reported Monday, one year after purchasing those plots, the Teets discovered the cemetery had buried someone else in their grave.

Getting the Runaround

Even though they had the deed to prove they owned the plot, the cemetery would not right the wrong.

The Teets say it was very important to them to be next to their son when they pass and wanted the grave plot returned to them. The family of the man buried next to their son even agreed to move their loved one, but the cemetery would not cooperate.

Months went by with no resolution.

“We couldn’t find anybody to help. We went to the state cops. Here. There. We was all over the place. Until we called you, and finally got ahold of you,” Don Teets told Channel 11.

That finally led to a breakthrough.

11 Investigates on the Case

11 Investigates called the longtime cemetery director, who first denied the Teets owned the plots, but then told us the situation would be “taken care of.”

Finally, after giving the Teets the runaround for five months, the cemetery owner worked out a deal with the Teets’ attorney David Tamasy to give them the plots on the other side of their son. The plots had been presold, but because no one had yet been buried there, the owners agreed to take plots in a different part of the cemetery.

The Teets say it was a stressful and difficult time, but are grateful to finally have some peace and closure.

“We’re gonna be beside him when we pass away. And he’s resting in peace,” Don Teets said.

Investigation Underway

The ordeal might not end here. The Fayette County District Attorney’s Office is now investigating whether the cemetery has a pattern of selling grave plots twice.

If you’ve had an issue with a cemetery, you can file a complaint here with the Attorney General’s Office or by calling 800-441-2555. The Funeral Consumers Alliance also provides information about how and when to file a complaint against a cemetery or funeral home.

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