And the news just went downhill from there.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office filed criminal charges against former Grand View Memorial Park operator Marsha Lee Howard on Feb. 21.
She surrendered herself to authorities on March 10 and pleaded not guilty to six felony and three misdemeanor counts in connection with health and safety code violations at the cemetery.
The charges include six felony violations relating to the collection, investment or use of endowment-care or special-care funds, one misdemeanor count of violations relating to the deposit or disposal of human remains outside the cemetery, one misdemeanor count of violations relating to the commingling or cremation of remains of more than one person and one misdemeanor count of violations relating to the disposition or removal of human remains without burial or a removal permit, according to the complaint.
Meanwhile Moshe Goldsman, who took over as operator of the cemetery in November 2005 when Howard was removed, struggled to keep Grand View afloat. By the end of May things looked grim, and on June 13 he locked the gates in defeat. The gates were chained and "No Trespassing" signs were posted on them. Without the ability to conduct any new business per the state's 2005 order, Goldsman said he could not keep the cemetery running.
People with loved ones there were devastated, and those with plots were left to wonder their fate. For months visitors left flowers and signs on the gates, which became a collective shrine. There were even rumors of grievers scaling the gates in their desperation to visit graves. And so the city stepped in and arraigned for the park to be cleaned up and opened to visitors for four hours each Sunday.
And while this is not enough, patrons say, it is a help. But even this has been uncertain as city officials say they can not afford to keep it up and cut back the hours in November.