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Property owner reclaiming land near cemetery, relatives of those buried concerned

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WEST FELICIANA PARISH - Some residents in West Feliciana are worried they could be blocked from a cemetery where loved ones are buried, as one land owner is attempting to take over the only road to the graveyard and make it his private property.

In the small West Feliciana Parish community of Tunica, Mary Ellen Daniel has many relatives buried in the Rogillio Cemetery.

"On the Sundays when I'm here, I like to stop by and visit the graves site of parents especially," Daniel told WBRZ.
Daniel's family friend Lin Sharpe also has a lot of relatives buried here.
"My great grandparents, my grand parents, parents, nieces, uncles," Lin said.
There's only one road leading to the cemetery, and the man who owns all of the surrounding land is requesting that the parish abandon the road, so that he can reclaim it as his private property.
"I'm sure he can go as far as place a gate somewhere along the road to limit the access to this area," Daniel said. 
Residents are also concerned that the poorly maintained road will only get worse.
"It's open like this for 200-years and we don't see it closed off," Lin said.
But the owner of this property already considers this road as his private property, and he says he has no intentions of keeping anyone from visiting their loved ones buried in the cemetery.
92-year-old property owner Carlyle Rogillio says his descendants moved here when it was still Spanish territory.
"A few of them were born in the 1700's and buried here in the 1800's," Rogillio told News 2.
Rogillio claims he still owns the road and never gave the parish permission to take control of it. He has plans to build a gate, but only to keep those out who don't belong.
"The people who are causing problems: the trespassers, the lover's lane people who come up, leave their paraphernalia and their kleenex that you find here in the morning."
The West Feliciana Parish Council will consider taking action on that cemetery road when they meet on Monday.


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