Action News Troubleshooters get help for grieving mother trying to bury son at Northwood Cemetery

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Action News troubleshooters help a mother trying to put her young son to rest.

She has reached out about a Philadelphia funeral home that she says is failing to meet its commitments.

“Tashawn was the eldest of four,” said Tyesha Carter. “He was very personable and lovely and we miss him dearly.”

Carter says her 22-year-old son was shot dead on July 25.

“Gone too soon,” she said. “You never actually imagine burying your child. You imagine your child burying you.”

Tyesha Carter’s only visible memorial to her son was a heart in the dirt. That’s because the check she paid to Distinguished Memorial Chapels bounced, according to the cemetery.

Carter paid $11,000 to a funeral home in Philadelphia called Distinguished Memorial Chapels, Inc. It was supposed to offer the funeral service and pay a cemetery $3,700 for the burial.

“I paid her in full on August 5, and the funeral was on August 8,” she said.

Her only visible memorial in the cemetery is a heart she drew in the dirt. Because according to the cemetery, the check from Distinguished Memorial Chapels bounced.

“There wasn’t enough money,” said Wayne Sands, the general manager of Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia.

Sands said he contacted the funeral home about a dozen times and never heard from them.

This continued into October, slowing Carter’s ability to get a headstone for her son. The cemetery said it could not proceed until paid.

“It just feels like I’m reliving that tragedy,” she said.

When even a letter from Carter’s attorney failed, Carter turned to Action News’ troubleshooters for help.

“When we got involved with you, it happened,” she said.

After the troubleshooters called the funeral home and Northwood Cemetery, “they got paid right away,” Carter said.

“They came in and paid the bill. Everything’s fine,” Sands said.

The troubleshooters went to the funeral home to ask why it was taking so long to settle the payment.

Action News spoke to a woman named Jestine Johnson, who didn’t seem happy to see us.

“Unless you speak to me directly and have my permission to come, never show up. Get that on the news now,” she said.

The troubleshooters explained that we were trying to understand the funeral home’s side of the story.

“(There is) no side of the story to get. Never come back to my shop. That’s the side of the story I’m giving you and Channel 6. Never come back to my shop. All is people get hurt because of things like this, okay? You can take this to the bank,” Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Carter says she can try to start healing now.

“I can breathe deeply. Just thank you guys for reaching out,” she said. “It’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone and I’m just glad we’re one step closer to the next step.”

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Action News Troubleshooters get help for grieving mother trying to bury son at Northwood Cemetery

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