DENVER — For nearly three decades, Kisa Wright has visited her father's grave at Riverside Cemetery for his birthday.
Tuesday would have been his 60th birthday. But this year's visit was different from past ones.
"I couldn't find him this time," Wright said.
She knew something was wrong when she noticed dirt covering other gravestones in the area. So, she and her cousin went back to the cemetery with a shovel.
"We got to poking around and kicking around and digging around, and we dug him up with five inches of dirt covering him," Wright said.
Wright says she notified the Fairmount Cemetery Association, which oversees Riverside Cemetery, to express her concerns with the cemetery's upkeep and maintenance.
"It's not taken care of. It looks abandoned," she said.
In a statement to Denver7, Fairmount Cemetery said in part:
We truly regret that the markers were covered in dirt and are happy to speak privately and personally with the family to make sure it doesn't happen again.
We have a full time maintenance crew at Riverside and they are responsible for regular upkeep. We also hire a lawn service company to mow the native prairie grasses.
Our team is ever-vigilant regarding the upkeep of Riverside and are quick to respond whenever an issue or concern might arise.
Yet on Thursday — two days after digging out her father's gravestone — Kisa pointed out several other gravestones fully submerged under inches of dirt near her father.
"My cousin has a friend, her mother's buried out here, and she also said she can't find her mother. So she knows now that she should probably come digging around to find her," Wright said.
Wright hopes Fairmount restores the area to what it used to look like decades ago — green grass and well-maintained gravestones.