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Grave situation scares off renters

Grave markers were used to create patio at Manteca home

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Grave situation scares off renters

The grave markers of Edna R. Drake and David Allen Lagomarsino both from their deaths in 1962 are among an estimated 200 plus markers in a 20-foot-long city refuse container in the 600 block of San...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED March 30, 2013 2:33 a.m.

A large city dumpster filled with approximately 250 concrete grave markers dated from 1959 to 1962 got the attention of neighbors in the 600 block of San Juan Street Friday morning.

A neighbor and a handyman cleaning out the back yard at the site of a recent Sheriff’s eviction said the 20-inch long blocks had been used to extend patio landscaping in the rear yard of the home.  The blocks were once temporary markers at Parkview Cemetery on French Camp Road, near the golf course, according to San Joaquin County Sheriff’s public information officer Les Garcia.

A pad outside the sliding glass door had been lengthened using the markers in place of cement, planting them upside down so the dates and lettering of the deceased wouldn’t show under foot, neighbors said.

The handyman said he had told the current owner of the rental home – the third in the last 30 years, according to neighbors – that the markers had to come out because potential renters were leaving before filling out an application after they discovered what was in the yard.  They were creeped out, he said.

Manteca Police were called to a business on West Yosemite Avenue Friday morning across from the Manteca Marketplace Shopping Center to check out a grocery cart that was filled with markers that someone had taken from the San Juan Street site and left abandoned.

Garcia drove to Manteca and checked on the markers hoping to determine their origin through the Coroner’s Office.

One next door neighbor said he had lived there for some 35 years and remembers the markers being there as a kid when he would chase a ball over the fence.

On Friday, questions and speculation mounted, many of which centered on the cluster of deaths in the 1960s. Names on just a few of the markers included: Leroy Ray Morse, 1911-1982; Eddie W. Marr, 1908-1962; William M. Andro, 1861-1962; Jay A. Mitchell and George W. Hicks, 1878-1963; Edna R. Drake, 1885-1962; and David Allen Lagomarsino who died in 1962.

Authorities eventually were able to confirm the temporary markers had been discarded once permanent grave headstones were put in place at Parkview Cemetery.

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