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Decorations missing, broken at Palm City daughter's gravesite

Posted at 6:34 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 18:34:27-04

PALM CITY, Fla. — If you’ve ever lost a loved one, their gravesite can be a place to find peace.

A Palm City mother said she’s repeatedly showed up to her child’s resting place, only to find decorations missing or even broken.

When Barbie and her daughter Mackenzie want to see 11-year-old Maddie Demers, they visit Forest Hills Memorial Park.

"We go visit her at least once a week," Barbie said.

Barbie often leaves her daughter -- Mackenzie’s sister -- fresh flowers next to a light-up angel and a Spider-Man figurine, Maddie’s favorite superhero.

"It's comfort. It’s healing," Barbie said.

Maddie died from a rare bone cancer more than four years ago. WPTV has shared her story over the years, first meeting her when she was just six years old, when her family created the Maddie’s Fight Foundation to raise money to support other families battling childhood cancer.

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"We’ve helped at least 50 families," Barbie said.

But now they’re asking for a little help keeping Maddie’s gravesite a place that doesn’t add to their pain.

Over the last year, they said they’ve noticed some items getting knicked by weed whackers.

"We’ve called and said, do you mind if they be careful?" Barbie said.

And over the weekend, Mackenzie went to Forest Hills to bring Maddie a plant.

"I found the broken tree plant, and the Spider-Man and the angel were gone," Mackenzie said.

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A sign at the cemetery said Forest Hills isn’t responsible for anything broken or stolen, but Maddie's family said they don’t know where the missing items are.

Maddie's family.PNG

A policy sign said the cemetery can remove statues and toys at plots, something Barbie said was not a problem for the first few years.

If they were taken, Barbie wants the items back and plans to bring new items to celebrate Maddie's birthday at the end of the month.

"I just hope that I can put back her Spider-Man. I guess I'll get another angel. I hope I can put them down there and they’ll be able to stay," Barbie said

WPTV reached out to Forest Hills Memorial Park on Monday for a comment and is still awaiting a response.