ALVORD, Texas - A mother who is still grieving the loss of her daughter had to rebury the girl after rain uncovered her casket.
Rylie Koger died in September from complications related to Johanson-Blizzard syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affected multiple organ systems in her body. She was only 7 years old.
“I miss my daughter,” said Tiffany Matthews, her mother.
A few days ago, she got a call from a board member at the cemetery in Alvord in Wise County. She was told the recent rain unsurfaced the little girl’s casket and that there was now a pile of dirt alongside it for the family to cover it back up with.
“I was outraged. I was disgusted,” Matthews said.
A board member for the cemetery told Matthews that families are responsible for the upkeep of the gravesites, with the exception of mowing. That’s done by Wise County inmates.
“How dare you tell a mother who just lost her baby, ‘Well you have to go do it yourself.’ A disabled woman,” said Amelia Slimp, her aunt.
“There’s mowing and weeding and cleaning up, but they can’t grab a shovel and put some dirt on it?” asked Jonna Williamson, a family friend.
The grave was eventually covered up again with help from other family members, volunteers from the community and a few city workers. But the family is still concerned.
“When the next big rain comes, is it going to wash the dirt out again?” Matthews asked. “I’m not just speaking on our behalf, everyone.”
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