Action 13 called upon by family who has yet to receive headstone 3 years after grandmother's death

Saturday, August 26, 2023
ACTION 13 steps in for family seeking 3-year-old request for headstone
A family contacted Action 13 after a request for a headstone for their grandmother went unanswered for three years.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Christina Flores' grandma was one of the millions of people who passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's constantly ripping the Band-Aid of mourning off over and over," Flores said.

Flores and her family purchased a gravestone from Heavenly Memorials and Monuments in Rosenberg in September 2021. The company slogan says, "Small family, big heart," but Flores doesn't think the business owner has a heart because he won't help her.

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The grave is only marked with small mementos her family has placed around where she was buried. There's a red cardinal, flowers, and other small trinkets. Flores said it's a way to remember her grandma and help her find her grave.

Without the markers the family has placed, there is only a slab of what the family says is misplaced concrete and a pile of dirt. There's nothing that identifies the grave site.

"It looks like she was alone. It looks like she had nobody here for her," Flores said.

Flores' family spent more than $3,000 and has been waiting for almost two years for the headstone to be placed. She said the business has only given her the runaround.

"I want them to do what's right. I want them to give us the headstone or give us our money back," she said.

ABC13 reached out to the business owner, Craig Mitchell, who said they've been talking with the family and working on placing the headstone. Flores said this isn't true and that they've been given a three-week estimate for delivery several times.

Mitchell didn't want to do an on-camera interview but did speak briefly before hanging up, citing this as an issue between him and the family. However, the family said they've reached out to him multiple times.

When ABC13 spoke with Mitchell over the phone, he said staffing issues, shipping delays, theft, and the extreme heat have caused this delay. However, the family said he's said this multiple times over the past two years.

Flores said she also recently purchased another gravestone from another company for another family member that was delivered within weeks. She doesn't understand why this headstone hasn't been placed yet.

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During the phone call, Mitchell accused ABC13 of trying to put him out of business. Court documents show multiple people are suing him. Near the end of the brief call, Mitchell said he'd talk with the family.

Moments later, the family called and spoke to Mitchell. During the conversation, he verbally agreed to have the headstone placed in three weeks.

In the conversation, Flores was told by Mitchell that it was not possible to receive a refund.

Editor's Note: The video above and the post references the owner's last name as Matthews, it has since been corrected to the proper name.

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