Over 300 missing headstones found at Wapato Cemetery

Wapato officials said since January more than 300 headstones have been located that were below six inches deep and a rodent infestation that was plaguing the cemetery has been controlled.

 Wapato mayor Juan Orozco said he has made it his goal since taking office in December to fix the cemetery.

Sacred territory he said shouldn’t be forgotten but treasured. The new mayor hoping to clean up what he said past city officials did not.

“They should be cared for they should be nurtured, people come out here with their pains with their memories,” said Orozco.

Orozco said this is just the beginning of bringing the forgotten people of Wapato back to the surface and giving families the chance to create memories with those gone too soon.

Workers will continue to dig up headstones and will replace broken ones.

Orozco said they are currently working on digitalizing their system so they can keep up with the number of headstones. They don’t know how many people are buried because previous management didn’t keep count.

They will have staff count them once they’ve made sure they found all of the headstones.Orozco said they have plans of adding new lighting, benches and a gate at the cemetery.