Upset family can't believe someone would steal from a grave site

Carlos and Alex Vergara at the graveside of their daughter, where a park bench was stolen.
WARWICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Carlos and Alex Vergara at the graveside of their daughter, where a park bench was stolen.

The family of a young girl who died last year are devastated treasured items have been stolen from her grave site.

The girl died in her Palmerston North home in 2016, and by her grave was a small park bench the girl had been given when she was 1.

But the bench is gone and the girl's family are devastated that vandals are inflicting unkindness on them.

"It's horrible," her mother Alex Vergara said.

READ MORE: 
* Family of 12-year-old who died suddenly warn of the dangers of online bullying
Bullying may be worse than child abuse
Teen tackles cyber bullying head-on
Tragic death of girl, 9, to be investigated by coroner​​

"It's my baby's chair.

"It's bad enough what happened to us... They're taking things from her."

The bench was painted in a glitter varnish and had a plaque on it stating the girl's name, birth date, and when she died.

Alex Vergara went with her husband, Carlos Vergara, on their daily visit to Kelvin Grove Cemetery last Wednesday afternoon when they noticed the bench wasn't there.

She said her daughter's headstone had been vandalised the week before and a man had been mending it that morning. He confirmed the bench had still been there at that stage.

Ad Feedback

"He said the chair was here, so Wednesday after 8am it was taken in the daylight." 

A plant was also stolen the previous week. 

"It's bad enough we lost her and sit here every day, and now someone does that," Alex Vergara said. 

People had offered to replace the bench, which she said was kind, but not the point. 

"It's not the same. It's my lost child's." 

As they were there so often, the couple mowed the lawns on either side of their daughter's grave to keep them looking tidy. 

They kept an eye out for other people and now hoped people would return the favour.

"We don't care who they are. We just want the chair back." 

The family did not report the incident to police.

Palmerston North City Council parks and property manager John Brenkley said the council had not removed the chair. 

"We are very, very careful about that. 

"Even when we have to do maintenance, we always make sure the family moved decorations." 

Families could decorate grave sites for five years and then they had to clear them so the site could be mown over, as Kelvin Grove was a lawn cemetery. 

Brenkley said there were not cameras installed at the cemetery but the gates were closed at 6pm. 

"You have got grieving families and people coming along and stealing stuff and even vandalising things and there's not an awful lot we can do."

He said staff at the cemetery tried to keep an eye on things and report suspicious behaviour. 

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Innovative pipe work planned

Watercare is renewing some potentially leaky pipework in North Shore's Glenfield.

Motorists, don't worry, a $14 million dollar pipe upgrade won't disrupt traffic in busy Wairau, Watercare says

Fleeing car spiked, crashes

Emergency services are attending a serious crash near Glenavy.

Police apprehended a man in west Auckland on July 21.

Rival gangs meet over meth

Gang members face off in Northland ahead of Saturday's 'Keep it in the Ring' fight night.

Rival gangs will gather under one roof to "fight P" at a charity martial arts event in Northland, as police call in extra staff.

Twins chase Tokyo 2020

Brianna and Courtney Reynolds-Smith from Murrays Bay, Auckland say they feel privileged to race all over the world.

For the Reynolds-Smith twins, nothing will stop them reaching their full potential.

Wellington

Ex-cop battles police to save RSA

Former Titahi Bay RSA president John Ward.

Alcohol sting was excessive, and could have shut club permanently, he says.

Slip halts Jville trains

A slip has halted trains on Wellington's Johnsonville line. (File photo).

Trains have been replaced by buses, which are likely to be full during rush hour.

Wellington doused by rain

Heavy rain is set to ease into showers, but they'll be heavy. (File photo)

About 15mm of rain fell overnight in Wellington, and a train station has flooded.

Power cut to 20,000 in past week

Homes in Kapiti have had power restored after three separate major outages this week.

Almost half of Kapiti lines company Electra's customers have been affected.

Canterbury

Second meth clean-up at complex

The Housing NZ Gloucester St unit being decontaminated for methamphetamine has been stripped of carpet.

HNZ's tenancy management negligence is creating a "ghetto-like environment", resident says.

Live: Timaru declares

21072017 News: GEORGE HEARD/STUFF

Flooding in Ashburton is causing havoc for residents. Roads turning into rivers

State of emergency has been declared in Timaru district as flood waters continue to rise and part of SH1 is shut.

Heavy rains, flooding in photos

School Park in Timaru submerged by plenty of water from heavy rain.

Roads have turned into rivers as a huge winter storm moves down the South Island. 

Missing woman's car found

Canterbury Police are looking for 34 year old Melissa Jane Dalgety. She was last seen on Thursday morning and is ...

Search and rescue and surf lifesaving volunteers join police search for Melissa Dalgety.

Waikato

Honeymoon hoon's 202kmh ticket

Brazilian surgeon Marco Filho, adjusting his belt after leaving the Hamilton courthouse on Friday, was charged with ...

Safe to say the Brazilian speedster is not in the good books of his new wife.

'Slow the (truck) down'

A variable speed limit for the section of Gordonton Road could be in place within a couple of months, council's ...

Frustrated city councillors send a message to drivers at a troublesome Hamilton intersection.

Anti-mining edge sharpened

The Kopu Hikuai Road, near Thames, is where high-level protections on Coromandel DOC land ends.

Coromandel MP dismisses petition as election year noise.

Shot man's partner found

A police guard stands out the front of a Whangamata Rd property in Kinloch after a man was shot there on Thursday night.

Police would not release the victim's name until at least Saturday, after a post-mortem.

Taranaki

Truck blocks highway

The trailer of a large truck has rolled and was blocking half of SH3 near Waitotara in Taranaki on Friday.

One lane was blocked on SH3 near Waitotara after a truck crash on Friday morning.

Pre-nup was unfair

The High Court has upheld a lower court decision for a couple to equal property shares after separating

A pre-nuptial agreement gave one partner $20,000, and the other partner $1.5 million worth of assets.

Contented in Tikorangi

The cave had mysterious myths abut it but turned out to be a simple earth-moving creation.

This garden is a treasure as are the people who created it.

Doing the dirtiest work

After Disaster owner James Nunes-Vaz has never ever turned down a cleaning  job.

After the police and fire brigade have done their jobs at an emergency scene, the clean-up begins.

Manawatu

No way in, no way out video

The trail's reconstruction has made life much easier for villagers.

After the 2015 quake, villagers in Uhiya, Nepal were isolated, forced to fend for themselves.

Tennis courts for sale

Feilding's four asphalt courts will be sold despite five submissions opposing the sale.

Feilding's four asphalt courts will be sold despite strong opposition.

Former NZ paediatrician jailed 

Jonathan Walsh is in jail after pleading guilty to 17 charges relating to the making and distributing of indecent images ...

Paediatrician who worked in New Zealand hospitals jailed in the UK for indecent images of children.

Residents want 'bickering' to end

Horowhenua ratepayers want mayor Michael Feyen and the council to get on with their work.

Horowhenua ratepayers are fed up with a council that clashes.

Nelson

Battle to return soldier's diary

Margaret Kearns of Stoke, Nelson with a copy of her father's dairy, Hartley Palmer.

The Government has intervened to help return a war diary to its rightful home in Nelson.

Nelson's changing face

La Per and Mu Su Pan say they enjoy living in Nelson.

A fifth of Nelson's population was born overseas. Can the city meet their needs?

Dairy owners 'terrified'

Vijay, left, and Darshini Chauhan speak with Nelson Police Senior Sergeant Blair Hall  following a robbery at the dairy ...

After a spate of robberies across Nelson, the council has initiated a meeting with police and dairy owners.

I can beat Bolt - Malone

Kiwi para athlete Liam Malone reckons he can break Usain Bolt's 100m record within three years.

Nelson para-athlete wants to use high tech superblades to become fastest man in world.

Marlborough

'Why not' sink navy ship?

Waikawa Dive Centre instructor Kate Trayling, left, and owner Stuart Scaife hope to use a decommissioned navy boat, ...

Divers push to sink HMNZS Endeavour in Marlborough Sounds for Cook commemoration.

Heavy rain causes slip

A section of State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson has been closed to one lane following a slip on the road.

SH6 down to one lane after rain hits the top of the south.

No parole for dance teacher

Stayz Raukawa was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail at the Blenheim District Court in 2015. (File photo)

The sex offender will not finish treatment outside of jail, after his victim spoke to the parole board.

Finals time at Lansdowne

Marlborough division one grand final rivals, Baxter Wilson, left, captain of Moutere, and Glen Ballam, co-captain of ...

Whatever happens at Lansdowne Park on Saturday, history will be made.

South Canterbury

Trapped on top of car gallery video

BP on Evans St, Timaru, has flooded.

Police trying to reach person trapped on top of car in floodwaters just outside of Oamaru. 

Downpours strike  video

Flood water filled the petrol station forecourt.

Storm sweeps south as Timaru placed under state of emergency.

Fallen tree blocks driveway

Timaru resident Ricky Harper with a tree that fell across his driveway during the heavy rain on Friday, July 21.

South Canterbury man "stuck" at home with no way out other than on foot, after tree falls.

Smith asked to meeting

National Party Rangitata candidate Andrew Falloon will discuss the controversial wood burner rule with Environment ...

Controversial wood burner rules an election issue as National joins the fray.

Southland

Stewart Island heritage gets $1m

An artist's impression of the Rakiura Heritage Centre. The centre has received, over $1 million in Government funding to ...

The Government is to commit $1.08m to the Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust.

Post-funeral brawl

Police and ambulance were alerted to the incident, but were not eventually required.

A post-funeral gathering in Bluff on Thursday night ended with blood, broken glass and a visit from the police.

Irrigation scheme 'a win-win'

Dairy Creek Ltd director Tim O'Sullivan, Pioneer Energy chief executive Fraser Jonker and Pioneer Energy project manager ...

A $10m irrigation scheme near Alexandra, Central Otago, is going to deliver water to about 1800 hectares of barren land.

Gecko stolen from visitor centre

The Marlborough green gecko that was stolen from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau.

An at risk gecko has been stolen from the DoC visitor centre in Fiordland.

Ad Feedback