Family locked into cemetery while visiting grave on Independence - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Family locked into cemetery while visiting grave on Independence Day

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The City of Coeur d'Alene said Wednesday that they will no longer be locking public cemeteries on the Fourth of July after one family says they were physically locked in. 

"It was humiliating," Sean Scoogin said. 

The family says their son died nine years ago, and they've made it a tradition to go to the cemetery on his birthday, the Fourth of July. 

His wife, Bethany Mikolas, says they were visiting their son's grave when a Parks Department employee asked them to leave. When they asked for more time at their son's grave site, they say the employee locked them inside. 

In a statement, the City of Coeur d'Alene said, "Parks workers spoke with the family to notify them it was going to be closed, and they declined to leave the cemetery. Their vehicles were parked outside of the grounds, and so the worker locked up the fence with a chain, but locked it at the very last link so that they could get through the opening on foot."


The family says that "opening" wasn't realistically big enough for any of them to get through, so they were stuck waiting. Mikolas explained the scariest part was their grandma's oxygen tank was locked inside their car, which they did not have access to. 

Despite what happened, the family plans to come back next year. 

"We were happy to hear they're not going to lock it anymore," Mikolas said. 

The Parks Department says they locked the cemetery to keep people from setting fireworks off near the graves.

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