The owner of the monument company says grave markers are a business and the bill needs to be paid. The company says after trying to work with the family, there was still an outstanding balance of almost $1K; so they decided to repossess the marker and the community is lashing back.
Five-year-old Jake Leatherman, of Hickory N.C., died of leukemia last year. His family originally ordered a small, simple marker, but decided they wanted a larger one which cost more, and sought the services of Southeastern Monument Company.
The monument company's owner said that despite several phone calls, messages, and promises of payment, the outstanding balance of $918 was never paid.
The owner said he was conflicted about what to do for a while, but eventually he decided to repossess the marker.
"You've got to pay your bills, and a company can't keep on giving away markers, giving away markers, and pay your bills and stay in business," said Reverend J.C. Shoaf, owner of Southeastern Monument Company.
However, after receiving several harassing phone calls he wishes he never removed the marker.
It's not known how this situation will be resolved at this time.