Promised cemetery plot next to newborn sold to another family

FRESNO, Calif. -- A family who recently lost their newborn is begging a cemetery to make good on a deal they made days after their baby boy died of a genetic disorder.

The couple wanted to buy the plots next to their baby, but when they went to pay for them, they were told that the plots were sold. Cemetery officials say they feel awful about the mixup, but the plot in question was already sold to another family before the Miranda family bought theirs. But the grieving family says "sorry" isn't good enough.

Aiden Miranda was born August 7. He weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and lived for a single day.

"My son was alive for 8 hours. It was the best 8 hours of my life," said David Miranda, Aiden's father.

Aiden looked normal, but David Miranda knew his baby boy would only live a short time because doctors discovered a fatal disorder even before he was born.

David Miranda made burial arrangements at St. Peter's Cemetery. At the time, he also reserved another plot for him and his fiancee. He was provided a reservation slip that stated the father needed to make his first payment on the additional plot by November 17. So earlier this week, he came to make a payment, only to learn his plot was sold.

"So now, it's not only ethically that you are wrong, but legally you are wrong too now, so I go over there on Tuesday, and I show him the paper and before I even show him the paper, as soon as I walk in he tells me, 'I messed up man. I'm sorry.'"

"We are very sympathetic to the situation and the loss. We're trying to present and explore other options that will work for this family," Carlos Rascon, Director of Cemeteries, said.

The options include purchasing other plots near - but not right next to - their son's, or being buried in the same plot as their son. They also could move the baby to a place where plots are available next to him.

"And your idea is either A) we go, or B) we dig up my son and that's not an option. I'm not going to bury my son, we just went through this. I'm not going to see my son's casket get dropped again in the ground. No, that's not an option, make it right," said Miranda.

Cemetery managers said another salesperson sold the plot next to Aiden's just three days before the Miranda family came in, and although the sell was documented in the computer, it wasn't listed on the cemetery map.

The director of cemeteries said he is reviewing the policies to prevent this from happening in the future.
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