Troubleshooters Investigates: Cremation Contract, Day 2

Troubleshooters Investigates: Cremation Contract, Day 2

POSTED: Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 4:38pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 10:10am

EL PASO - Tonight we continue looking into funeral services sold to an elderly couple who passed away. Family members say the couple thought they paid a local cemetery to be cremated, but the cemetery says that's not the case.

In case you're new to the case, here's what's been going on:

Terry Maloof's dad died two days ago, and she had to arrange and pay to cremate him. It's a task she thought was already taken care of. That's because more than 15-years ago her parents purchased two cremations from Memory Gardens in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Maloof's mom died 10-years ago, and that's when Memory Gardens first told them that the couple purchased "niches," places to store the urn and ashes, not cremation services. Although, the spot on the contract that says "niches" was left blank. At the time, she didn't want to add to her dad's heartbreak, so she paid nearly $2,000.00 more to have her mom cremated at another place. The ashes were then placed at Memory Gardens.

When Maloof's dad died on Tuesday she ran in to the same problem...

"We won't be able to use the cremations that my parents paid for, you know, back in 1995," she said.

This time she can't afford a proper funeral. She says she could if Memory Gardens would honor the contract for two cremations.

That brings us to today...

We tracked down Kim Powers-Bridges, the owner of Memory Gardens, to Knoxville, Tennessee. Powers-Bridges refused a recorded interview with us, but we questioned her over the phone. She says she is sorry that Maloof is upset, but she says there is nothing she is going to do. Powers-Bridges tells us the contract is old, and she says the family received a deed with the contract that shows they only purchased niches. She also claims her cemetery has never offered cremations services. Again, the contract lists the purchase Maloof's parents made as "cremations"

"They could easily send them, the bodies, elsewhere to get them cremated," Maloof said.

Maloof says that deed was given to them more than five years after her elderly parents thought they purchased two full cremations.

"At the time they were looking out for me, so that I wouldn't have to deal with this. Now I'm looking out for them, because they're gone and what else can I do?"

Maloof says she's thinking about sharing her story with the New Mexico Attorney General.

Comments News Comments

Kim Powers-Bridges should be court-ordered to pay for services not rendered, and in addition pay for pain and suffering due to her refusal to honor the contract. Reprehensible!

I cannot believe this is happening. Tia Milita and Tio Moises do not deserve this, and neither does my cousin Terry Maloof, who is an only child. It is reprehensible, and if I were in charge of this situation, I would sue this woman for services not rendered, as well as for pain and suffering. After looking into this, my husband is still unable to find an attorney to take this case. If anyone knows of a good attorney who would be willing to handle this, please contact Troubleshooters. Thanks

This is not the only issue with this cemetary. After many of the brass vases were stolen, relatives began placing flowers inside the hole where the vase use to be but grounds people were ordered by the owner to have them thrown away if they were not in a brass vase. These vases cost a lot of money to replace and there is insufficient security to keep them from being stolen again. What a shame.

The owner of that cemetery should be ashamed of herself for having taken advantage of an elderly couple. I can tell you one thing I will never do bussness with that cemetery. I hope the owner gets some goodness in her heart and does the right and honorable thing. If not then she should be arrestwed and charged at the very minimum with theft of service.

This story is forcing me to pull out my parents funeral arrangments and looking into the fine print. They also paid for theirs back in the 80's. What a shame take it to court looks like that contract was not written properly.

That company shoul dbe investigated by the POLICE now for fraud. They should also be sued for everything they have for putting this person through a living H___ during a time of grief. This company is and always will be GARBAGE.

This cemetery is lying to her! Any funeral home can confirm that Memory Gardens has indeed performed cremations prior to 2005. There is a crematory at the back of the cemetery that is no longer in use due to them never renewing their license. By the time Jodie Eubanks realized in 2004 that they had a lapsed license they had already performed numerous ILLEGAL cremations. I suggest Ms. Maloof contact an attorney as this cemetery has many hidden secrets.

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