Erosion taking toll on Lehigh cemetery

LEHIGH, Iowa (AP) — Visitors to the Oak Grove Cemetery near Lehigh are stumbling across a gruesome discovery as coffins and bones are being exposed by erosion.

The Des Moines Register reported heavy rains in 2009 washed away the wall of a nearby ravine causing a strip of the cemetery to slide down the hill, taking several headstones and at least one body with it.

A burial vault sticks out from the side of the ravine. Further down, is what looks like a human leg bone. Pieces of other bones are hidden under leaves.

A township trustee who oversees the cemetery says the township can’t afford to move the graves or stabilize the ravine. He says it’s caught up in legal limbo and out of his hands.