LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Thursday, we reported on someone mistakenly being buried on top of a stranger’s grave. The cemetery owners claimed it was an error of the grave-digging company and said they would no longer work with them. Today, that burial company is responding.
For over 30 years, Kevin Menard has been laying people in their final resting place, many at Calvary Cemetery, and he says every time he only performs the job where he’s told.
Menard told News 10, “My guys were told to dig right there.”
On April 17, 2021, a man was placed in the wrong grave on top of a total stranger. When asked how, the Diocese of Lafayette stated,
“The Diocese of Lafayette was recently made aware that an error made by Menard Burial Vault Company at Calvary Cemetery, owned by St. Genevieve Catholic Church, resulted in the burial of a deceased individual in a plot that was owned by another family. Proper protocol was followed and the deceased individual was reinterred in the proper location, and both families were kept informed throughout the process. Effective immediately, Menard Burial Vault Company will not be granted any additional permits to perform work at Calvary Cemetery, with the exception of performing work that had already been permitted through December 31, 2021.”-Blue Rolfes, Diocese of Lafayette Director of Communications
Menard Burial company said the error was a result of following directions.
“Whenever we dig, we are always told by a director of a cemetery who runs the cemetery where to dig. We don’t pull up in a cemetery and just pick some random spot and say, ‘We’re going to dig here today.’ It’s never done like that,” Menard claimed.
According to Menard, his workers are given a work permit and either guided to a direct spot by the cemetery staff or spots are flagged by name as seen in these pictures provided by Menard from different sites he’s worked.
But Menard alleged, “They way it looks is that they gave me a work order, and I came in there, and I put the grave wherever I wanted to. That’s not how it went down.”
After the burial was corrected, The Diocese of Lafayette stated, “Effective immediately, Menard Burial Vault Company will not be granted any additional permits to perform work at Calvary Cemetery, with the exception of performing work that had already been permitted through December 31, 2021.”
Menard said he is an option many of the most desperate turn to, and hopes this does not hurt them.
“If I can’t do the work for them, I can’t help them. Which I don’t think that’s right. They should have the option to use who they want to use, what’s more affordable for them…Just man up to it. It’s not my wrongdoing. I did the physical work of digging where I was told to dug. That’s what I did,” Menard concluded.
He does feel this has damaged his reputation to the point where he is willing to let the truth come out in court.