Family upset over headstone delay

Posted at 7:41 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 13:22:51-04

OGDEN -- Losing a child to SIDS is awful enough, but Ashley and Thomas Hughes of Ogden say their heartache has now lead to frustration because a headstone they ordered and paid for three years ago still isn't done.

"I just don’t think anything compares to losing a child," Thomas Hughes said.

Milo hwas just five months old when he unexpectedly passed away in his sleep from SIDS.

"I continued CPR because that’s just what you do even when you know they’re gone you’re supposed to keep going so I kept going until the ambulance came and took him," Thomas said.

Right away, Ashley and Thomas had a vision for Miloh's headstone.

"We wanted baby blocks. That’s what we wanted," Ashley Hughes said.

When he sketched it out for them just like they imagined, they paid Wallis Burnside of “Etched in Stone,” $4,000 for their custom design.

"He sold us and was like ‘hey I would love to do it for you. I can do exactly what you want and you guys come in and pay 75 percent and then the 25 percent before we install,’" Thomas said.

Right away, Burnside warned them that the custom design would take some time, but as they started to approach the third anniversary of Miloh's death, the Hughes became impatient.

"Then all of the sudden different excuses started coming. Anything from he had allergies to he was sick. The newest excuse he gave me the other day is that he almost died," Thomas said.

Burnside said three years is not a typical amount of time for a custom design.

According to Burnside, he was waiting for the Hughes to sign off on his final work and pay the additional 25 percent of the work.

"Once I etch this in stone, it’s done so I’m not going to go too far, too fast if I don’t have the right information. I’ve got to wait," Burnside said.

When the Hughes posted their frustration on Facebook, they found out they were not alone.

"There’s at least 100 people specifically on the Fox13 post that have dealt with him and have gone over two years without having their stone,” Thomas said.

Burnside's business had received an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau.

“That’s okay. I’m not part of the Business Bureau. I don’t subscribe to their tactics. I’m not going to pay their $500 fee to join their club," Burnside said.

Tuesday night, Burnside installed what he had at the gravesite, although it's not exactly complete.

"Just make it look finished. Take the saw marks off the top, make the sides finished, and seal it,” Thomas said.

However, the Hughes already feel so much better.

"It’s like what we’ve been waiting for three years," Ashley said.

They're hoping Burnside will finish the work, but more importantly, they’re hoping to see some changes in his business for future customers.

"I don’t want his business to shut down. I don’t want him to lose money. I just want him to do things more organized and stop taking on more work if he can’t handle it,” Thomas said.

Burnside says the Hughes have paid enough and he will not be asking them to pay the 25 percent they still technically owe.