Family stunned as decaying foot emerges in grave during funeral, report says

The family of Cleveland Butler 85 were horrified when they spotted a decaying foot sitting on top of their patriarch's casket at the Mount Holiness Memorial Park in New Jersey

Family stunned as decaying foot emerges in grave during funeral, report says

As Cleveland Butler, 85, was lowered into the ground in the bright blue casket his family chose, the foot appeared in the dirt at Mount Holiness Memorial Park.

Butler's son and a daughter told the website that workers weren't fazed when a foot wrapped in plastic and covered in cloth popped through the dirt, resting against their father's casket. It was too much and no one said anything to us. The Butlers noted that one of the gravediggers also dropped his cell phone and a pack of cigarettes into the grave.

The worker fished both out with a rake before relatives saw the foot in the grave. A cemetery caretaker said it was originally in a casket but that has since deteriorated.

Mr Butler, who suffered a fatal stroke at a Brooklyn nursing home, made his final journey at the Robeson and Brown Funeral Home in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Friday.

The foot belonged to a grave that was dug in 1969.

He left behind a large family, including four children, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, including Sandra and her brother Alonzo.

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"This is beyond heinous for anyone to witness during their time of grieving over a loved one", said the Rev. Kevin McCall, crisis director with the National Action Network.

Bill Plog added: 'You can purchase a concrete vault, but people don't.

But James Shmergel, owner of Mount Holiness Memorial Park in Butler, N.J., brushed aside concerns from the family.

Plog, 59, said the decision to quickly fill the open grave was just common sense, not a coverup. "Honestly, I wanted to get it over with as soon as possible".

The image of the long-dead limb stays with Butler, and he worries whether the corpse's family is even aware of the indignity.

'We were shocked. All we could say was "Wow", because that was a human, someone else's loved one, ' he told the paper.

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