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13 Investigates Preview: Finding ‘Big Momma’

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verlilla stansbery

FREEPORT (WREX) -- What do you do if you follow the rules, but the rules don't add up?

"The law is not being the law," said George Tripplett while standing inside the Freeport City Cemetery. "The law is not upholding the law."

Tripplett's grandmother, Verlilla "Big Momma" Stansbery died on February 27, 1986. She was buried four days later in the city cemetery in Freeport, according to her death certificate, funeral pamphlet and obituary. Tripplett attended the funeral on that March day in 1986.

Now, decades later, Freeport City Officials say they have no record she was ever buried at the city-owned cemetery.

"Don't tell me you can't find her when you had a hearse, you had everything," Tripplett added.

But, the city says exactly that.

Why does the city say she's not buried in its cemetery when the death certificate, funeral pamphlet and obituary all say she is?

13 Investigates, Wednesday at 10 on 13 News.

James Stratton

James Stratton is the Evening Anchor at 13 WREX and reports for 13 Investigates He joined the team in August, 2018 after working at KWQC TV-6 in Davenport Iowa. His work in Illinois and Iowa has been awarded in both states, along with Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Awards at 13 WREX.

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