CALEDONIA — The Village of Caledonia is looking for help in finding some cemetery records. That includes anyone who has purchased a cemetery lot in Caledonia Memorial Park from 2010 through 2020.
It comes after the man responsible for maintaining the cemetery's records was charged with embezzlement.
TODAY’S TMJ4 spoke with a woman who was caught in the confusion. She didn’t want to be identified.
"That's about 3, 4 generations of family," the woman said.
The woman, who didn't want her identity shown bought two plots at the Caledonia Memorial Park Cemetery six years ago. One for her and another for her husband who died several years ago.
She was shocked to learn the records regarding her purchases could be missing.
"It's just totally sad that would ever happen anywhere,” she said. “But at cemetery plots. There’s really not anything to say about that."
According to court records, someone stole records from the Caledonia-Mount Pleasant Joint Parks office during a break-in during March 2019.
Those records included burial information.
The person in charge at the time was Jim Svoboda. It is unclear at this point if he had any involvement with the break-in.
Svoboda, however, was later charged in December with theft, forgery, and misconduct while in public office, among other charges.
He is accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from village accounts from 2013 to 2019.
"At a time like that, you're not thinking of dotting your "I's" and crossing your "T's." You're just trying to take care of what you need to take care of," the woman said.
The village appointed a new interim cemetery director and put out a call for plot owners to call them so they can sort things out.
TODAY’S TMJ4 reached out to Svoboda's attorney Wednesday afternoon. We are waiting to hear back.
TODAY’S TMJ4 also reached out to the Village of Caledonia several times. We have yet to hear back regarding the matter, but you can dial the village hall's clerk's office at 262-835-6414.