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Grieving Family Locked Inside Northern Idaho Cemetery


An Idaho family, still mourning the loss of a 3-year-old child five years after his death, was locked inside a Kootenai County cemetery July 4 soon after going to the child's gravesite to celebrate his eighth birthday.

KREM-TV reports cemetery officials told the family they had to leave when nighttime set in, but the they were intent on having a gravesite remembrance and watch the fireworks. That's when family members said a city employee locked them in at Riverview Cemetery in Coeur d'Alene and drove away.

"I felt terrible. I just laid down on Eli's grave and cried for a while," mother Bethany Mikolas told KREM-TV. "I was shocked and scared and we were stuck."

It wasn't until 90 minutes later that a cemetery supervisor returned to unlock the gates. Coeur d'Alene Parks Director Bill Greenwood has since called the family to apologize, according to KREM-TV. Greenwood promised the family that the scene would not be repeated next year.