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Iraq vet's family considering gravestone options

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Oct 22 2013 06:49:19 PM CDT

The family of a slain Iraqi war veteran says they want her towering SpongeBob SquarePants headstone returned to her final resting place but they're also considering other options.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The family of a slain Iraqi war veteran says they want her towering SpongeBob SquarePants headstone returned to her final resting place but they're also considering other options.
 
Kimberly Walker's family met with officials at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati on Tuesday to talk about possible solutions after her gravestone was removed because it didn't fit in with the traditional grounds.
 
Her mother, Deborah Walker, says she agreed to consider the cemetery's various proposals if they would think about hers - simply putting the gravestone back.
 
Cemetery President Gary Freytag says that's the only option not on the table. He says an employee mistakenly approved the design and has apologized for the error. 

The cemetery has offered to pay for newly designed headstones.
 
Walker was found dead at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colorado Springs in February.  Her boyfriend, Fort Carson soldier Montrell Mayo, is charged with her murder.

Colorado Springs' oldest continuously-operated cemeteries have guidelines, too. Evergreen and Fairview Cemeteries are both owned and operated by the city of Colorado Springs.

Will DeBoer, cemetery manager, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that there are height and weight restrictions for headstones depending on the section of the cemetery.  DeBoer said that headstones do not need prior approval from the cemetery before installation. The only restrictions are for offensive images and images of cows.  He said the cemetery probably would have accepted Walker's Spongebob Squarepants headstone.

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