SOUTHBRIDGE (CBS) – A year after two teens were murdered, a Southbridge family says a grave mix up has left them unable to properly mourn their deaths – and allow the boys to rest in peace.
Dante Carlor was buried a month before his 17th birthday. “It’s beyond missing him,” his mother Jamilla Carlor told the WBZ-TV I-Team. “It’s a feeling I can’t even describe.“READ MORE: 'Definitely Concerned': Travelers At Logan Airport Cautious About Catching COVID Delta Variant On Summer Trips
The teenager and his best friend K’Shaun Webster were murdered in Boston a year ago. The families say, the case remains unsolved and while they are not sure what happened, they know two innocent kids were killed.
But their nightmare didn’t end there. Jamilla says there was a mix up from the start when police took her to the hospital where K’Shaun was having emergency surgery and the other family to the hospital where Dante later died.
Wanting to keep the teens together, the families decided they would use George Lopes Funeral Home for both wakes and agreed they would be buried side by side at Hope Cemetery in Worcester. Within weeks they noticed a problem.
Jamilla says because of COVID, they were unable to have extended family attend the funeral. Later she says, when people went to the cemetery to visit her son – they would send photos showing they were standing on K’Shaun’s grave and vice versa.
So Dante’s sister Jaliah, checked the deed.
“I noticed it had the wrong number, at that time I went to the cemetery every day,” she said. “Knew something is wrong.”
It turned out Dante was buried in K’Shaun’s plot and K’Shuan was buried in Dante’s. Hope Cemetery, which is owned by the city of Worcester, told the families the mix up was caused by the funeral home who delivered the caskets to the wrong plots.READ MORE: MBTA Expert Says Trolley Accidents Like Friday's Crash Typically Caused By 'Human Error'
Jamilla says the cemetery told her they had to be sure that was the case. Both families were told they would have to exhume one of the boys to verify who was where. Despite being against disturbing the boys, the city asked the families to choose which boy would be exhumed, neither mom wanted to do that- so the cemetery made the decision randomly and exhumed Dante.
Even after the cemetery confirmed the mistake, the families say still nothing was done and to make matters worse, Dante’s headstone was installed on K’Shaun’s grave. Jaliah says the whole situation has her angry and upset. “How do you make such a drastic mistake and have no sympathy or empathy or any kind of feelings to help resolve the situation,” she said. “They let it prolong so long.”
After the I-Team contacted the city, the headstone was moved within days.
For Jamilla, finally she has a bit of peace, telling the I-Team, “I appreciate everything you’ve done,” she told the I-Team. “It’s bittersweet. I was happy to see his headstone on his on his plot which is beautiful. Waiting for my nephew’s they both should have had them by now.”
No one from the George Lopes Funeral Home returned our calls.
“Any time someone is murdered, the pain reverberates through families and communities. A life is stolen and can never be returned. That horror was compounded by an careless error that caused even more pain for the loved ones of Dante Carlor, who was 16, and K’Shaun Webster, 17. My office and the victim witness advocate team are here for their loved ones. The investigation into their murders is ongoing,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement to WBZ.
The city of Worcester issued this statement:MORE NEWS: Jamaica Pond Closes Water Activities Until Further Notice Due To Algae Bloom
“The families of K’Shaun Webster and Dante Carlor suffered unimaginable losses with the deaths of those two young men last year. Their losses were compounded with the inexplicable placement by the George Lopes Funeral Home of the caskets of the two victims in the wrong plots at Hope Cemetery. As soon as the City of Worcester was made aware of this issue, we reached out to the funeral home multiple times to confirm. The funeral home never responded to the City. We continued to work closely with the family, and partnering with the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, worked diligently to resolve the matter. Recently, with the consent of the families and the help of Mercadante Funeral Home in Worcester, we were able to confirm that the two victims had indeed been placed in the wrong plots. With the anniversary of the deaths of K’Shaun and Dante approaching, we are taking the necessary steps to remedy this situation. We hope this helps their families and friends enjoy some measure of peace and comfort.”