Prosecutor considering ways to keep troubled cemetery open
One day after volunteers mowed an overgrown Delaware cemetery, the county prosecutor said she's looking at legal ways to keep Fairview Memorial Park "up and running."
Carol O'Brien said with the cemetery owners in prison, the cemetery is "effectively abandoned," leaving nobody to take care of the maintenance.
"We're trying to review all the options we can," said O'Brien. "It is not our obligation necessarily, so what we're gonna try to do is see what we can do within the bounds of the law to make sure this is a running concern."
Ted and Myndi Martin own Fairview Memorial and two other cemeteries. One is in Portage County. The other is in Dover, Pennsylvania. The Martins face charges related to all three of their properties.
They were recently indicted in Delaware County on 54 counts, most of them theft charges. They're accused of taking money for things like grave markers, grave spaces and vaults and then failing to provide them.
Mrs. Martin is in prison in West Virginia where she's serving time for income tax evasion. Mr. Martin was rearrested after the federal judge in that tax evasion case found that he'd violated terms of his bond. O'Brien said Mr. Martin will now start serving his federal prison sentence, instead of waiting for his wife to get out.
Volunteers mowed the grass at Fairview Memorial on Wednesday using push mowers at first. Then a professional lawn care crew drove by, saw the men struggling to mow the high grass, and decided to donate their time and equipment. They spent several hours finishing the job.