Contact 2: Headstone Delay

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NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. (KTVI) –Losing a loved one is a painful experience.  For one North County family, the discomfort doubles because they've paid for a headstone, but have nothing marking the grave.

The 21 year old passed after battling Sickle Cell Anemia.   Now, his family says they've waited long enough for his headstone.

Javon  Vincent lived a full life.  He's remembered as a determined young man...who enjoyed life to the fullest.   Many with Sickle Cell Anemia aren't as fortunate according to his older sister Bridget Smith.

'He wasn`t supposed to live past four years of age.   And he was the miracle poster child for Children`s Hospital at the time. '

Jovan passed almost a decade ago. But it took the grieving family some time to realize they hadn't addressed a headstone. In May 2012 they pulled their resources together and went to Schaefer Monument in Normandy.    Bridget says it was expensive. 'We spent a thousand and eighty four dollars and we`ve got nothing.    It`s no excuse for the company negligence. In that case refund us our money. And we`ll go somewhere else.'

Jovan's sisters have asked several times about a completion date.  Bridget says they heard lots of promises.  'They kept promising, we`re going to get it out there in October, end of November.   And then they actually signed the receipt and stamped saying they`d have it delivered no later than Dec. 5th.'

A retired relative of the current owners recently started helping out with paperwork. I looked for the monument with Charles Schaefer.  It wasn't there. He promises it should be ready by the end of February. But Schaefer says placement depends on the cemetery's schedule.  'We have to put a foundation in for it.  Sometimes when its muddy, you don`t want to track up the cemetery. That delays you again'

Bridget says her parents are getting very sentimental about the delayed placement of the headstone. 'It`s really taking a toll on my mom.  Not just my mom but the entire family.  Because everybody is getting frustrated now. '

The family uses other markers to find Jovan's grave according to Bridget.  'We count five spaces down just to find the plot where my brother is supposed to be laying at. This is the only way we can identify where he`s at.'

The family hopes the headstone is placed by March 18th....Jovan's birthday.  We're going to stay in touch with the monument company to help make sure that happens.

If you have consumer issues call us at Contact 2.  The toll free number is 800-782-2222.  Volunteers take calls Monday through Thursday between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

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