(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Jessica Mann is still grieving months after losing Terrell Henderson, a young man who died by suicide last February.
"I think anytime a young life is lost especially under those circumstances, it leaves a very raw wound for family, friends, and the community," Mann said.
Mann, a longtime friend of Henderson's family, said she knew him since he was born.
"Everybody’s hurt over it," Linda Watkins, Terrell's aunt said. "He was a really good guy, he was really nice."
Watkins said Terrell's untimely passing hit his mother especially hard.
The family is in the process of purchasing a headstone for Terrell, who is buried at the Mt. Auburn Cemetery.
His gravesite was filled with many items representing his life, sadly those items were recently vandalized. Family members said they can’t understand why someone would do this and feel more should be done to protect graves at the cemetery.
They also feel the vandalism is part of a bigger problem surrounding the general care of the cemetery in recent years.
Mann said the cemetery is falling into disrepair, pointing out decaying trees, and ruts along gravel driveways.
According to the Meierhoffer Funeral Home, Mt. Auburn Cemetery is owned by an out-of-state company, Meierhoffer staff have stepped in to provide limited upkeep including complete cleanups twice a year, and basic lawn service.
They recommend people avoid leaving items of sentimental value at gravesites.
Many families of people buried there said vandalism and theft is a growing issue, they've voiced their concerns on social media.
Terrell’s family and friends said they just hope something can be done to keep their loved one’s resting place undisturbed.
"Anyone that’s lost a loved one recently, just knows how important the sacred space is," Mann said.
Meierhoffer staff said the cemetery does not have the infrastructure needed to support a security camera system on its grounds. Terrell's family has set up a Go-Fund-Me site to help pay for the cost of a new headstone.