Skip to comments.Unable to pay for husband's funeral, Apple Valley woman allegedy buries him in backyard
Posted on 06/21/2013 7:33:40 AM PDT by JoeProBono
APPLE VALLEY Calif- Unable to pay for a funeral, an Apple Valley woman reportedly told sheriff's deputies she was forced to bury her husband in a shallow grave in the couple's backyard weeks after the man died, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials. Investigators are trying to determine if the man died of natural causes.
The identity of the deceased man has not been released. The woman has also not been identified but neighbors and San Bernardino County property records show they are Thomas and Yvonne Winn.
"She's a really nice lady," said Colin Wilson who lives behind the Winns. "She would always wave to me every morning."
Apple Valley deputies were called out to a home in the 16000 block of Navajo Road around 1 p.m. Wednesday for a welfare check on a 63-year-old man, according to authorities.
At the home, deputies found the man's 59-year-old wife who told deputies her husband, who has not been identified, had died weeks earlier, according to sheriff's officials. Unable to pay for a funeral, she reportedly told officials she buried him in the backyard.
"I saw her kneel down near where the cops started digging and she just broke down," Wilson said. "She was obviously devastated."
The man's body was found in a shallow grave and his body did not appear to have any obvious signs of trauma, sheriff's officials said.
The woman was not arrested pending a cause of death ruling from the coroner, according to Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the sheriff's department.
Neighbors said the 63-year-old man had been ill for some time.
Touched by the woman's situation, Wilson and his sister, Emily Wilson, decided to set up an online fundraising account through Fundrazr.com where people can donate to help bury the woman's husband.
"I just feel terrible for her," he said. "I can't imagine what she went through."
In the first hour, the online fundraising effort had already raised $120.
Phyllis Jerscheid, owner of Jerschied's Men's Apparel in Victorville, said she would donate a suit to the Winns so he could be buried.
"This story just broke my heart,"Jerscheid said from her busy store on Hesperia Road. "I wanted to help in some small way."
The couple had recently purchased the home in November but moved in early this year, said Wilson, after some repairs had been made to the property.
"She was out there almost every day painting and fixing up that house all by herself," Wilson said. "She's a really strong lady."
A day after their neighborhood was overtaken by sheriff's investigators, news vans now lined Navajo Road.
"It's really weird to think that she was able to do this and no one saw anything," said Wilson as he stood in his back yard which faced the rear of the couple's home. "We all have chain link fences here and we can see right into each others back yards. I can't believe no one saw anything."
It's a violation of the state's health and safety code to bury a human body anywhere other than an approved and recognized cemetery.
To donate, visit, www.fundrazr.com and search Thomas Winn.
An unearthed, shallow grave remains in a woman's backyard in Apple Valley on Thursday, June 20, 2013. Unable to pay for a funeral, the Apple Valley woman reportedly told sheriff's deputies she buried her husband in the makeshift grave weeks after the man died, according to authorities. (Rachel Luna / Staff Photographer) (Rachel Luna)
Unable to pay for husband’s funeral, Apple Valley woman allegedy buries him in backyard
If it can be shown that he died of natural causes, my hope is that the authorities will give him a proper burial and leave the woman alone.
She did what she could for him.
Seems that we can not only no longer LIVE free, but we can’t die FREE either: even in death, we’re still bound by the dictates of nanny government. ..
That is criminal activity.
Used to be, you could just tuck Grandpa in somewhere in the south 40. Hardly cost a thing.
My wife and I both see our bodies as a shell we occupy. Once the body dies, it is is like a costume thrown away. It has no value whatsoever.
If my wife dies first, I will never visit her grave. There is nothing there for me.
My wife’s first husband died of Leukimia at the age of 27. She spread his ashes to the wind from a particular spot in the cascade mountains in Washington state. To this day his father is ticked at her that she has honored his wishes and told nobody where that spot is. Interestingly, she couldn’t find it if her life depended on it.
I really don’t have a problem with this, as long as a person is buried in a coffin I think.
I wouldn’t have a problem buying a house with the old folks buried in the yard, as long as they’re not next to the house and as long as they died of natural causes. ;)
What did we do before the price of a burial was such a rip off? What came naturally of course.
Used to be, you could just tuck Grandpa in somewhere in the south 40. Hardly cost a thing.
I hope Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Apple Valley will step in and help if there has been no foul play. Northeast corner of this high desert community with a nice chapel. Where Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are buried.
True. Well, it’s off to the government soylent factory, then.
I can’t fault her, she did what she could at the time. Its not easy to react calmly when you lose someone who is very close to you. If she had a large freezer she could have kept him on ice, like so many of the other stories I’ve read. I wonder how many more of these type stories will appear with the new Obama care in place? I’m sure the Gov’t. will come up with some kind of burial welfare entitlement check eventually.
Very sad, really. My sister was widowed last month. She had to dip into her retirement funds to give my brother-in-law a proper burial even after the rest of the family chipped in to help her as we could.
She got a cut-rate funeral service (Their slogan: "Haven't You Lost Enough Already?") and owned plots. The tab still came to $3500 or roughly half the cost of an average funeral without owned plots.
We lived in Japan for 14 years and I personally have no qualms about cremation. The Japanese actually have a commendable reverence for their dead-- showing up to clean and spruce up the family plot including rewriting the name stakes which have faded. They do this every year in a plot slightly larger than a telephone both and a marker about the size of typical suburban bird bath. Some of them even split the ashes between two plots-- one in their ancestral hometown and another near where they work and live.
Meanwhile, I've visited my Dad's grave about once in the last five years because the location is so remote even if the setting is beautiful and spacious. We send money to a family friend to decorate and take pictures.
The problem is that my wife, mother and many other Americans have a cultural taboo about cremation and, of course, the funeral industry promotes this as a way to jack up their profits. I can see common sense regulations such as prohibiting burials on a hillside subject to erosion and landslides or places likely to pollute the water supply. But the results for minimum gave sites sizes, vaults, etc. go way beyond the pale.
These health and Safety Codes prohibiting burials other than a cemetary are nothing more than payoff laws made for the Funeral lobby.
When my first wife died I was amazed at how difficult it is to check out. I needed countless official death certificates for probate, life insurance, pension, auto titles even my kids college. Without an official finding this woman won’t have death certificates. I’m very sorry for her anguished decision.
“wife, mother and many other Americans have a cultural taboo”
It’s contrary to Christian teachings. I would sooner violate the law of the state regarding cemetary burial than violate the law of God against cremation.
resultslaws in place for minimum gave sites sizes, vaults, etc. go way beyond the pale.
The government is just upset because it couldn’t reach into the dead man’s pants and steal his wallet.
“Its contrary to Christian teachings.”
“Its contrary to Christian teachings. I would sooner violate the law of the state regarding cemetery burial than violate the law of God against cremation.”
Can you please tell me which scripture prohibits cremation?
I know a lot of people feel that way and I respect those feelings. The big government-funeral industry alliance have, unfortunately, exploited those feelings as a way to line their pockets.
Japan, Korea, Taiwan and many other Asian country have millions of Christians where cremation is the only option. I don't think Jesus Christ considers them any less Christian by the way they lived their lives just because their burial options were limited.
When I got my seven copies, I got on the horn to the regional manager, tore her a new a-hole, and had the additional copy hand delivered the next day.
I can't say enough bad about Forest Lawn.
a little cheaper...but cremation usually still requires you buy a coffin. go figure.
cremation isn’t just throwing a body in a shalow hole. she would have had wildlife digging that body up and leaving parts all over.
i didn’t get the impression anyone was going to go after her for this from what was posted.
I can see common sense regulations such as prohibiting burials on a hillside subject to erosion and landslides or places likely to pollute the water supply.
she would have had wildlife digging that body up and leaving parts all over.
I'm seriously considering opening up a Japanese style cemetery as I see the cremation trend definitely as a growth industry, but I'll bet there would be a maze of regulations to make ensure the industry-big government alliance still gets their cut.
I would think Chet Hitt (owner & former family member)would help if he knew of the story. He's rarely in AV these days, however.
Your logic is correct, but again it is a cultural thing. People would be far less grossed out by cow remains washing down a hillside than by human remains.
So, yes, I am willing to cut the big government-funeral industry alliance a little slack for common sense regulations and the fact that our culture still respects humans more than cows. But no more.
“Japan, Korea, Taiwan and many other Asian country have millions of Christians where cremation is the only option. I don’t think Jesus Christ considers them any less Christian by the way they lived their lives just because their burial options were limited.”
The idea higher up in the thread is that ‘the body is nothing and the soul is everything’. Christians believe that the body is an essential part, and we believe in bodily resurrection. So - whenever possible a Christian should preserve the body in it’s final state.
Law prohibiting Christian burial are unjust laws and should be disregarded.
How sad. Please say a prayer for her.
Government....in the days of the old west the dearly departed were lucky to be laid to rest with a tombstone. These days, TPTB would rather use them as Soylent Green The NSA bldg in SA is perhaps the ‘Carousel” (A la Logans Run) A round in a square so to speak
Perhaps a card board one if you want to show the body.
Christians believe in the resurrection of the body, thus defilement of graves and bodies in graves is wrong.
Do you seriously think our God, who can resurrect a body which has decayed into dust and bone fragments, could not do the same thing with one converted to ashes and bone fragments?
Remains are usually required also to be in a cement liner far from a residential zone -- as a cemetery is the modern equivalent of a "south 40". Human decomposition can enter the water table. Animals will dig up a shallow grave; Scottish people, also American indians and frontier folks often covered graves with cairns (pyramids of stones) to prevent that. And if the next owners want to dig a garden, discovery of bones in a shallow grave would put them on the hook for identifying the corpse and all the costs involved with moving the remains to a more suitable location.
We may hate some of the effects of living close to one another in civilization, but there are often practical reasons.
So why not dig up graves and ‘convert’ the remains into ashes and fragments? That’s the same thing, right?
Why do you think Christians in the Roman Empire resisted cremation and put their dead in the catacombs?
and i am not bagging on her to be clear, i am just saying sometimes there ae real reasons why certain things are done to certain specs and rules. a second big issue with shallow graves and decaying bodies is the ground is going to give and you’re gongto have an indent and if it’s just sand and dirt and it’s muddy either the body or parts could make it back to the surface or you’re gonna step there and possibly sink in....
there are sometimes good reasons on how to buy someone properly.
I plan to donate my body to a medical school to train doctors in anatomy. My brother-in-law did this and when he died the university medical school arranged to have his body picked up by a local funeral home and about a year and a half later his cremated remains were returned to the family for burial...all without cost.
I agree first when my mother passed away the funeral wanted $5.000.00 up front then they try to sell us more stuff which we said no. Her total cost was like $10,000.00. Then when my father died they wanted again $5,000.00 up front then another $5,000.00. Thank God he had a life insurance policy he got from his work because we used it all for his burial.
This is insane that these funeral places are jacking up prices on all of us making it difficult to bury our love ones. I don’t see the Democrap shouting out that poor people are being enfranchised.
Bill Cosby had his son buried on his estate and Andy Griffith is buried on his estate. I thought it was against the law to bury on a private property.
if only. when my mother-in-law passed away, my stepfather-in-law was flabbergasted at cremation prices. geez. still needed to buy a coffin. dems da rules. fine...he goes flipping to the back of the book for the cheapest one. we loved her dearly (and miss the heck out of her still), but a bargain-shopper she was for her whole life. crikey....she would have come back from the dead and walloped us if we paid for a fancy coffin which was just going to burn. it’s a crock, anyway.
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