St. Petersburg woman laid to rest 10 months after death; cemetery fixes mistaken grave

Better Call Behnken

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A grieving family was finally able to bury their loved one today, 10 months after she passed away.

A Better Call Behnken investigation found that Royal Palm Cemetery South mistakenly resold Cheryl Maxwell’s prepaid plot and then buried another woman there, besides Maxwell’s husband.

“I thank God for allowing me to see it through, to help support my mom, my family and most of all my sister, to serve her justice,” said Celia Thomas, Maxwell’s sister.

The family claims the cemetery lied about the mistake for years to both families. When Maxwell died last March, though, the cemetery eventually fessed up, after Investigator Shannon Behnken paid staff a visit.

The bittersweet moment marked the end of a long ordeal after Thomas turned to Better Call Behnken for help in April.

State investigators ordered the cemetery to fix their mistake and continue to investigate issues at the cemetery.

As for the Maxwell family, Florence Jenkins, Maxwell’s mother, said she can now finally begin to get closure.

“I’m relieved now. I feel good that she’s where she wanted to be,” Jenkins said.

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