Furious family claims man's casket left in shallow grave, burglarized

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Only On FOX, a family already grieving the loss of a loved one learned that he was apparently never buried.

The family of Tyjuan Williams said their final goodbyes at Golden Gate Cemetery on Saturday, not realizing the next day that they would find the top of the vault thrown off to the side and his casket only laying inches under the ground.

"I was tore up, I mean, I was just destroyed because I don’t feel like it should’ve came to that,“ says Williams' mother Paula Fletcher.

"As soon as I seen it, I just felt like, I wanted to throw up," said Williams' father Dwendell Walker. "I thought once we left the cemetery that Saturday, I just assumed that the cemetery was going to do what they needed to do and that I could go ahead and go to my grieving process but after this, no.”

The family said they left Golden Gate Cemetery after the ceremony, expecting their son's burial to take place immidiately after. The next day they were alerted by friends that they saw thier son's casket on social media, after a good samaritan passed by, saw the condition of the gravesite, and posted a video.

"The casket was askewed, it wasn’t properly closed," said the family's attorney Waverly Nolley. "At the time that the body was left unsupervised, the casket was violated. Certain things were stolen from the body.”

The family also claims that the jewelry and family heirlooms he was buried with were gone. The owner of the funeral home that worked with the family went to the cemetery to get cellphone video of the workers trying to bury the casket. Things got heated when some of the employees asked him to stop recording.

"It really just hurts my heart because, you know, to open and close a grave is already expensive enough," Walker told FOX 26 News. "You spend this money so you’re hoping that the people who is providing the service is doing what they need to do and that didn’t happen.”

The family is also seeking an apology. Fletcher and Walker said no one has contacted them yet from the cemetery.

SCI Shared Resources, which oversees Golden Gate Cemetery, provided FOX 26 with a statement which reads in part:

Golden Gate Cemetery sincerely apologizes for the incident at the Williams family gravesite this past weekend. The employee responsible has been terminated and we will be working with the family to help resolve the situation and provide closure.

Meanwhile, the family’s attorney said that on top of looking for closure, Williams' relatives want to make sure this never happens to anyone else again.