Marker memorializing deadly crash thrown into dumpster

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A family who lost their young son claims they are reliving their nightmare all over again after finding the memorial erected in his honor tossed into a nearby dumpster. (KTRK)

A family who lost their young son claims they are reliving their nightmare all over again after finding the memorial erected in his honor discarded.

"It's always hard to deal with. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and how he died [is what I think of]," said mother Leslie Dueno.

What they uncovered over the weekend was a painful reminder of their loved one's tragic death.

"I saw the drag marks where they took it toward the dumpster," said grandfather Ellis Hamberg. "They had these rags up over it."

Christopher Hamberg's memorial cross was dumped behind a portable grease trap, a portion of the metal missing. There were obvious signs that it was forcibly removed.

"It's disgraceful to the family and to his name that they would do what they did with this cross," said Dueno.

Since 2009, the cross stood at the 1400 block of NASA Parkway. Christopher lost control of his car and flipped over. His mom said he wasn't wearing his seat belt.

"He flew out the car," she said. "It's the last place he took his breath."

That is why that cross meant so much to the family and they believe it served as a reminder to wear your seat belt. However, the family said the owner of the property nearby had called them at one point threatening to remove it.

"I told this lawyer [that] their property stops at that expansion joint [and that] their property don't go to that curb," said the grandfather.

Never did they imagine they would find Christopher's cross near a dumpster.

"Like a piece of garbage -- like trash," said his mother. "It may not have meant anything to him, but it meant everything to us."

TxDOT said sometimes it allows grieving families to put up a memorial cross as a courtesy, but if the family wants to place the cross back up it would work with them to get the proper permit.

Eyewitness News talked to the property owner's lawyer, who said he was out of town but would respond when he heard from his client.

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