EIGHT MILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile County Sheriff's Office said a pastor contacted them about an unidentified burial on his property.
It appeared at first to be a real mystery, but then we learned who's buried in the grave. The real problem involves property ownership.
The sheriff's office said the unidentified grave was located inside a cemetery on Lott Road.
We learned from a sheriff's spokesperson that a man named William Cash was buried there and a ceremony was performed by Gilmer Funeral Home.
"He wanted to be buried underneath that tree," said Tammy Cash, pointing to a large shade tree near her father William Cash's grave site.
Cash's daughter, Tammy Cash, said her dad was a painter, but had been disabled and then diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
"He was very respectful, loved by everyone. I doubt very much you find anyone in the world to say anything bad about him," said Tammy Cash.
When he died on March 13, his family didn't have the money for a proper burial.
"They weren't prepared for this," said William Cash's son, William Cash III.
Family friend Billy Sue Thomas stepped in and offered two plots that she said she owns.
"This part was hers, and she is the one who had the say over who goes here, who don't," said Tammy Cash. "It was with her permission, Ms. Billy Sue Thomas, that my mother and father be buried here."
Thomas told us that Life Church had given her the plots in 1988, but the current property owner, The River Church, contacted the sheriff's office and asked them to investigate when they discovered the grave site.
Life Church said they no longer own the property and could not confirm any transaction taking place between them and Thomas.
A Life Church spokesperson said a succession of owners took over the property on Lott Road, prior to The River Church taking ownership.
"It makes me very mad. It's even hard for me not to put my anger out there on TV, like that," said Tammy Cash. "To think that he would possibly have to come up out of the ground it really devastated me."
The Cash family is upset about this controversy and still mourning the loss of William.
Tammy's son Alex said his grandfather taught him how to build engines and the two used to race mowers together.
"I never had a father in my life, my grandfather - the day he passed away, it was like my father and grandfather all going at once," said Alex Cash.
We called The River Church, a woman refused to answer our questions. She instead referred us to the Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff's office said it's now a civil matter.
We'll continue to follow this story and update you as we learn any new information.
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