ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Dominique Mouton, owner of Mouton’s Burial Vault Services of Lafayette, was arrested Tuesday on eight counts theft following complaints of incomplete grave site services.
What makes that last line important is that a cemetery should be a place of peace, a place where the living visit the dead and reflect on their time together.
In tonight’s Dial Dalfred investigation, you’re about to hear from just a few of the many families who have been unable to do that because Mouton’s company allegedly failed to hold up their end of the deal.
Here at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church Cemetery in Cecilia the graveyard is full of tombs and gravesites.
In the case of Ms. Dorothy Smith her family says their loved ones final resting place is missing one big thing.
“My mother’s gravesite is incomplete. To come and have to see my mother like that, it doesn’t make any sense.”
Demetress Smith told us her mother, Dorothy, died in February of 2021. It has now been more than a year and a half since her funeral.
“It’s still not done.”
Smith says she is now down the thousands of dollars she paid for a proper burial her mother still hasn’t received and that she’s not the only one.
Dorothy Babineaux told us her husband has been dead for two years and his gravesite is still without the granite ledger she ordered.
“I’d like to see his grave just like it was supposed to be, just not everybody’s grave is updated. It hurts me through my heart. Every day I talk to him and I’m telling him that I’m trying to get his grave straight. Because he was a proud man and a well dressed man.”
Debra Frederick hired Mouton’s to bury her mom, made a deposit, then was told by Mouton three months later he couldn’t do the job because of knee surgery.
“He said he was going to give me my money back. I attempted three times, once to mail it and twice to meet him, and nothing!”
Nearly a dozen people came out to tell us their horror stories with the burial company, but none of them with a grave situation worse than Ms. Smith’s.
“I’m angry. I’m really, really, really angry. I’m hurt. Because here it is I’ve paid you more than I was supposed to just to come and have to see my mother like that, it doesn’t make any sense.”
Several calls to several numbers to reach the owner or manager of Mouton Burial Vaults have been dead ends. So, we went to the address listed for the business— turns out it’s not the business nor does the owner or manager live there.
“I want my mother’s stuff done and I want to see him prosecuted because it’s too many of us. He shouldn’t have done that, we’re not going to have that.”
In addition to his arrest, Mouton has been banned from doing any new jobs in the St. Rose cemetery.
It’s also worth noting Mouton was arrested for theft back in February in St. Landry Parish for not providing the tombstone a client paid for.
If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community or there’s a story you’d like me to investigate, send me an email at DialDalfred@klfy.com.