‘It’s a nightmare,’ Families upset after Adams County cemetery sold at sheriff sale

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CUMBERLAND TOWNSHIP, ADAMS COUNTY- The condition of Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens isn't so peaceful.

"It's a nightmare for the families," Adams County Sheriff James Muller said.

Around the cemetery is piles of dirt, ruts, and headstones in disrepair. Muller said that's not the only issues. When his wife's aunt died he ran into issues burying her.

"When they came out here to bury her, they were told they couldn't," he said.

He's not alone. Other people FOX43 spoke with said they are running into issues. The newest one is the change in the owner of the real estate.

"The gentleman that owned it originally, he filed bankruptcy. He lost the property. The new owner bought it. He is stating he has no responsibility to anyone for any expense incurred for trying to get somebody buried here," Muller said.

A letter sent to Monahan Funeral Home said the new land owner is Ramesh Rao. He purchased the real estate at a sheriff sale. It said he purchased the land and not the cemetery. He is not licensed and cannot operate a cemetery. Rao is looking for someone to operate but does not have someone yet. The letter goes on further to say the company of Oak Lawn is bankrupt and its assets are in control of the court.

"We wanted to take care of things so our family wouldn't have to worry about it," East Berlin resident Barbara Muller said. "Now we have to start over."

Muller has family members buried at Oak Lawn and planned to be buried with them. She is now worried her plot she bought almost 23 years ago will not be available to her.

"Guess that might not happen. We don't know, " she said.

FOX43 was not able to reach Rao over the phone. The former owner Jim Delaney declined comment when we talked to him over the phone.

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