Embattled cemetery’s records now in Adams County’s possession

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CUMBERLAND TWP., Adams County, Pa. –Lot records have been removed from the Oak Lawn Cemetery business office and are now at the Cumberland Township Police Department. According to a release from the County Commissioners’ Office, current burial plot owners retain the right to bury deceased loved ones through their funeral director.  Funeral Directors may access burial records by appointment at the Cumberland Township Police Department.

The cemetery came under public scrutiny last week for the condition of the property and the apparent hold up for current burials. 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.

Now the authorities are involved. According to the release, local and state organizations are working together to facilitate the best outcome. There is general agreement among involved organizations that the most pressing issue is to ensure new burials can be undertaken.

The Adams County Solicitor’s office is contacting the Pennsylvania Department of State and the new owner’s attorneys to ensure that burials of for plot owners will remain available in the immediate future.  As of Thursday evening the Adams County District Attorney, in conjunction with Cumberland Township Police Department, has created a form on the Adams County website that can be completed and submitted electronically for any person to file a complaint regarding Oak Lawn Cemetery.  That website is: www.adamscounty.us.


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