Headstones donated to women following Call Christina investigation
Local 10 News viewers step in to help after 2 women say man fails to deliver headstones
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida company and two Local 10 News viewers are donating headstones to two women who paid for makers for their loved ones that were never delivered.
After seeing Monday's Call Christina report, Susan Gomez at Angelic Monument offered to provide the headstones, and two Local 10 News viewers, Miguel Cepedes and Laurie Chacarro, have offered to donate money to offset the cost.
After two years, Vernell Roker will soon get a headstone for her daughter, Vicki.
She said her daughter and Ricky Williams grew up together, living in the same neighborhood, so when her daughter died, and she learned he was in the business of selling headstones, Roker said she thought, "I am giving Ricky a chance, because I know he's starting out and, you know, he does that kind of work."
She gave Community Monument & Casket Company a $600 deposit toward a headstone.
Roker then referred Ricky Williams to her best friend, Betty Williams, who said she gave Ricky Williams a check of more than $1,150 toward a headstone for her granddaughter, Kia.
Kia will also get a headstone thanks to the Good Samaritans and Angelic Monument.
"Unless he's a real con artist, I believe he was taking money, doing the next job and the next job, and just ran out of money," Williams said.
When Local 10 News approached a man neighbors identified as Ricky Williams, he denied that's who he was, but both Roker and Betty Williams identified him from video as the man who took their money and never delivered the marker.
Later, Ricky Williams called Local 10 News consumer advocate Christina Vazquez and said he wouldn't be able to give them their money back, but he made an assurance that he would deliver the headstones by May.
Now, into July, both women said they haven't heard from him.
"I hope you can make it right where he don't do that to anybody else," Betty Williams said.
Roker said she often has a difficult time finding her daughter's burial site. She lumbers through the grass searching for her.
"I want my baby to have a stone, a headstone on her grave, not just thrown it out here like she's forgotten," Roker said. "She need a headstone on her grave."
Because they are on a fixed income, both women said it was difficult for them to save enough money to hire someone else to order new headstones.
Thankfully, their loved ones will soon have their proper markers.
If anyone else would like to contribute, they can do so by contacting Gomez at 954-486-5150.
Follow Christina Vazquez on Twitter @CallChristinaTV
Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10
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