Funeral home's unpaid bills leave woman's grave without headstone

Family members of a Winnipeg woman who was killed in September say they are not allowed to place a headstone on her grave site because the funeral home has not paid the bills.

Loretta Lacquette's Winnipeg family members heartbroken they can't lay her to rest properly

This bouquet of flowers marks Loretta Lacquette's burial site at Winnipeg's Brookside Cemetery. Her family members say until the cemetery is paid for burial costs, they are not allowed to place a headstone at the site. (CBC)

Family members of a Winnipeg woman who was killed in September say they are not allowed to place a headstone on her grave site because the funeral home has not paid the bills.

The mother and sister of Loretta Lacquette say they're heartbroken because they cannot put her to rest properly given their situation with Monkman Family Funeral Home.

"It's like she's just not gone because there is no closure. We got to keep rehashing and rehashing," Joyce Swain, Lacquette's mother, told CBC News on Tuesday.

Joyce Swain, Lacquette's mother, says Manitoba Public Insurance covered the funeral expenses and mailed a cheque to the funeral home, but the funeral home has not paid the church or cemetery. (CBC)
Lacquette, 51, died after she was struck by a Winnipeg Transit bus while cycling in September.

According to her family, Manitoba Public Insurance covered the funeral expenses and mailed a cheque to the funeral home, but the home has not paid the church or cemetery.

The family says more than $3,000 in expenses are outstanding.

Until Brookside Cemetery is paid for the burial costs, Lacquette's family is not allowed to place a headstone at her grave site.

For the time being, a numbered sign and a bouquet of orange flowers mark her resting place.

"How could someone do that to someone else, especially in a time of mourning and loss?" said Wanda Ducharme, Lacquette's sister.

"Where's the compassion, empathy?"

Funeral home trying to stay afloat

Funeral home director Curtis Monkman told CBC News he feels terrible that the bills have not been paid yet.

Monkman said he did receive the cheque from Manitoba Public Insurance, but he had to use the money to pay other outstanding bills to keep his business afloat.

According to Monkman, he is owed about $30,000 from other families and several Manitoba First Nations, who have not paid their bills.

He is suing those families, but he still has debts to pay in the meantime, he added.

Lacquette's family says the situation is being made worse without any answers from Monkman, as no one had heard from him since her funeral.

"I don't want this happening to another family. That's so heart-breaking, you know? So disgusting," said Swain.

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