NewsPinellas County


Family upset about damaged grave site at Bay Pines National Cemetery

Posted at 4:51 PM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 17:40:56-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Nora Harris couldn't believe what she found on a visit to her father’s grave.

“I was just taken back that somebody would leave it like this, one. And two that nobody notified us that this damage happened,” Nora said.

Nora's father Harold Pearse died in 2007. He was an Army Corporal and Korean War veteran, but to Nora he was so much more.

“My dad was one in a million. Big guy. A man of few words, but when he spoke you listened.” Nora said.

Harold is buried at Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg.

Cemetery officials still haven’t told Nora how the damage happened. She said it looks like a car ran into the mausoleum.

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Her daughter Ellie was born two years after Harold died.

She wanted to decorate his grave for Christmas. Instead there are just two orange cones.

“I don’t know how long its been there but I thought it was just disrespectful to have that sitting there," said Ellie.

Nora said she was told there is no plan to fix the mausoleum right now because of budget reasons.

“This is just not okay. It’s not okay," said Nora.

We contacted Bay Pines but haven’t heard back yet.