SAN ANTONIO -- Karen Castro says she showed up to pay her respects, and found three loved ones' graves bare.
The family said they actually had flowers, wreaths and solar lights, teddy bears, stuffed animals and pictures around three grave sites at Mission Park Funeral Home. But not anymore. All her memorial items tossed in a dumpster.
Owner Dick Tipps says mission park maintains its beauty and reputation with its policy. Customers pay a small perpetual care fee to ensure the property is not only kept up....but safe.
He says one of Castros sunken graves needs repair because of all the decor.
"If somebody walks or trips on this, this is a problem," Tipps said.
But it's still little relief from a grieving customer who just wants to mourn with her personal tastes.
"These are our loved ones," said a distraught Castro. "What are we supposed to do?"
Tipps said the funeral home is flexible, but when people decorate and then abandon the items for too long, it becomes a safety issue. So the staff will remove the items themselves. He said people pay a small fee for perpetual care.
According to Tipps, Mission Park has policies in place for safety and ascetics. Mission Park rules and guidelines are listed in a contract that all customers are required to sign.