Locust Valley Cemetery draws ire of surviving relatives

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LOCUST VALLEY -

A group of people with loved ones buried in the Locust Valley Cemetery say they've unearthed a scandal of sorts — mementos placed at their relatives' graves were tossed aside.

Glen Cove resident Josephine Greco says she grew outraged after finding items she placed at her son's gravesite discarded in a pile.

"This is just inhumane," she says. "This is disgraceful. This is not the way that you treat personal property."

Greco's son Nicholas died of cancer in 2013. He was 7.

Gina Dean says she left a small rock, a flag and a pinwheel at her father's grave for his birthday. They're gone too, she says, calling it "desecration."

Diane Fabiola, the president of the Locust Valley Cemetery Association, says the decorations were removed because they didn't conform to the rules and regulations of the cemetery. She says those rules have been in place for decades.

So workers rounded up items like baby shoes, carved stones, religious tokens and other mementos from around the graveyard and tossed them in a heap.

Fabiola says the cemetery association sent letters outlining the rules to plot owners twice this year as a reminder.

But Greco says the removals came as a surprise.

"Not everyone received those letters," she says. "So why would you act now?"

Greco and other plot owners say they're demanding answers from the cemetery board members.

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