Pine tree planted by family at cemetery chopped down

Posted at: 12/10/2013 10:24 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque family says someone chopped down a pine tree at their brother's grave to use as a Christmas tree.

Connie Cardenas says they planted a pine tree at her brother Gilbert Tapia's grave 16 years ago.  She says he was an avid hunter, and they wanted to bring the wilderness to his grave.  Every year, they decorated the tree for the holidays.  But this year, they found it chopped down to just a stub.   

They believe someone took it for a Christmas tree because the people who operate the San Jose de Armijo Cemetery say maintenance crews definitely did not cut it down.

"It got kind of emotional because why would someone want to come and take something that...I mean, my God, from the cemetery and from the dead, it's like, it's not right," Cardenas said.

The cemetery has offered to plant a new tree for the family, but the family says they don't want to plant another one just to have it cut down again.