CITRONELLE, Ala. (WKRG) — A cemetery in Citronelle. A vault with the ashes of two women and five men. A funeral service to honor the lives of Melissa Stallworth, Jimmie Lee Craig, Irene Foster, Willie Martin, Jr., Kendal Jay Brown, Steve Frazier and Joseph Flynn.
“My heart is happy that they are resting finally,” said Rebecca McManus who discovered the cremains of thirteen people inside a storage unit she won at auction over the summer. Since the discovery, she has been on a mission to locate and reunite as many family members as possible. She was able to return the cremated remains of six people to loved ones.
After exhausting all resources she said it was time to do what should have been done years ago. “I’m finally able to give them what they deserve to have to begin with.”
So in a donated plot in a cemetery in Citronelle, Freeman Funeral Home owner Mark Craddock arranged the service. He said it was the right thing to do. “You just can’t leave people sitting around anywhere regardless of what state they are in they have to be taken care of properly.”
Among the mourners at the service, was Charles Perrine, Executive Director of the Board of Funeral Homes. He said an official complaint has been filed with his office involving the forgotten cremains. “We will investigate what the complainant told us as well as what the funeral home told us and then we will see if there is any violation of our law, the Alabama funeral service law.”
Eventually, a marker will be placed on the grave with all the names listed. For McManus it is a fitting and peaceful ending “Closure, I guess would be the right word to say.”