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'It's just a mess!': Jacksonville mom can't find daughter's grave in cemetery

Selesa Williams contacted the On Your Side's Ask Anthony team for help. Her daughter is buried in Sunset Memorial Cemetery, which is currently in bad shape.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville mom just wants peace. 

It's been more than 40 years since Selesa Williams' daughter tragically died. Her daughter, Katrinia, was only 3-years-old.  She's buried at Sunset Memorial Cemetery at the corner of Moncrief and Edgewood on Jacksonville's Northside. But, Williams can't find her grave. 

"It's just a mess.  It's as if nobody cares about this spot," Selesa Williams said. 

Willams moved from Jacksonville in 1986 to start a new life after her daughter's death.  Not too long ago, she returned home and was upset by what she found when she went to visit her daughter's grave. 

"It's so ugly.  There's nothing beautiful about this," Williams explained. 

According to historical records, Sunset Memorial was a burial location for Jacksonville's black residents during segregation. The cemetery changed ownership over the years and wasn't maintained.  Some headstones are almost completely covered in dirt, basically sinking into the ground. 

"I know it's a black cemetery. I get it.  But we deserve respect, too."

Williams sent the "Ask Anthony" team a copy of her daughter's death certificate and we started searching for answers.  We called Carthage Chapel, the funeral home listed on the death certificate to see if they had any information. The owner said they would have to search through boxes for their paper records from the 1970s, which isn't an easy task. 

"Somebody gotta know something," Williams added. 

Even though it's been almost 47 years, Williams is not giving up until she finds her daughter's grave. 

"I know without a shadow of a doubt that it will bring me some peace.  That's what I need...peace," Williams said. 

Sunset Memorial Cemetery now belongs to the city of Jacksonville.  We contacted the city and a spokesperson said they want to help Williams find her daughter.  We were able to put her in contact with someone who might be able to help her locate the grave.  We will keep you updated.  

If you have any information about Sunset Memorial Cemetery, you can email AskAnthony@firstcoastnews.com.

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