Meeting With City and County Officials Promises Good News for Cemetery Case - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/7/05

Meeting With City and County Officials Promises Good News for Cemetery Case

Since the lawsuit was filed against the City of Lubbock, more than 70 families have joined in. Their attorney met with the county and city attorneys and a judge on Friday, January 7th. This is the first time those four have met and felt like they left with answers. It's too early to determine exactly what will happen, but it's said to be promising.

Ernest Gaytan never met his grandfather, and Fred Gaytan was only 11 when they buried his father in the City of Lubbock cemetery in 1949. Now, the father and grandfather are among dozens of those lost somewhere in the cemetery.

5/25/04
Discarded Gravestones Found on City of Lubbock Property
Investigators have stumbled on discarded gravestones just south of Lubbock in the town of Wilson.

"I know the place he was buried, and I know, I remember, because I was there," said Fred Gaytan.

Gaytan has been searching for his father since the late 1960's after he found another stone placed where his father's had been. The cemetery is all he has of his father. Gaytan has no photos, just the old newspaper article of the car crash that killed his father, sister and uncle.

"Other people can go to the cemetery and find where their loved one is buried, we can't. All we can do is poke through the cemetery," said Fred's son, Ernest Gaytan.

The Gaytan's gathered in May with dozens of others in the same situation. Attorney Steve Claus now represents more than 70 of those families. He said during Friday's meeting that himself, the city, county and a judge agreed to work together.

"It's recognized that we have a problem and we're trying to work hard, all of us to get to the bottom of the problem and resolve it in the most favorable manor," said Claus.

He's given the city the list of names of missing people, and a few have been located. Claus hopes this is the beginning of more good news for families like the Gaytans.

"I can tell you I think what comes of the ultimate resolution will be favorable for everyone," said Claus.

"Bottom line is, even though they settle everything, where's my grandpa, where's his dad," said Ernest.

Fred Gaytan just hopes he finds his father before his own time runs out.

A trial is set for this December. Craus is set to release specific resolutions, but they want what he calls "an all-encompassing solution," but most of all, he wants his clients to have closure.

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