INDIANAPOLIS — Imagine a cemetery right outside your bedroom window. That’s the reality for one Indianapolis man.
“I looked out there, and I was like you got to be kidding,” Nathaniel Jones said.
Jones, who lives on Indy’s northeast side, has called his residence home for 37 years now. However, it wasn’t until recently that living next to a cemetery became troublesome.
“When they did start right outside my bedroom, I went over there to the cemetery and talked to the owner,” Jones said. “And he said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ I didn’t think I had to tell you about them burying them right outside my bedroom.”
Jones said his home was built in the 1920s before the cemetery existed.
The plot of land behind his home is owned by the Sutherland Park Cemetery but was covered by trees until last year. Now, it’s being used for burials.
When asked if he feels like his privacy is being violated, Jones said yes.
“Definitely,” he said. “I don’t know what to do.”
FOX59/CBS4 went to Jones’ home and measured from what he said was his property line to the first burial site. It ended up being only 3.5 feet apart.
Now, Jones said there are more than a dozen people buried behind his home.
When asked about Jones’ frustrations, the cemetery’s owner declined to comment.
“I don’t see a problem,” Jones said. “Why they can’t start middle-wise then go that way and down that way?”
FOX59/CBS4 reached out to the Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services. When asked about what the regulations are in place, they gave us this statement:
“The City of Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services learns about these types of issues through resident complaints. As such, we appreciate this resident bringing their concerns to our attention. Given the complex nature of this particular situation, the Department needs to evaluate what regulations may apply and will be engaging in conversations on the matter.”Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services
In the end, Jones said he is just asking for more privacy.
“I would just say [to the owner], ‘Hey Ken, is there any way you can start burying bodies a little bit away from my home?”
Any Marion County resident with concerns about their property is asked to reach out to the Mayor’s Action Center at (317) 327-4622 or submit a request through RequestIndy here.