Families of those buried in Tinton Falls’ Ruffin Cemetery accuse operators of fraud and deceit

A small 200-year-old family cemetery in Tinton Falls had few burials for decades. But it's suddenly filling with the remains of hundreds of people from New York City and Long Island.

Jan 31, 2023, 3:52 AM

Updated 536 days ago

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Operators of the 200-year-old Ruffin Cemetery in Tinton Falls saw few burials in recent decades but have now begun burying the remains of hundreds of people in graves marked by little more than small plastic signs.
The cemetery's operator says they have every legal right to do what they're doing and argue that the money being raised will actually help preserve the graves of those long interred there.
But neighbors and descendants of those buried there are trying to have the operation shut down. They filed a lawsuit in court charging that operators Louis Cicalese and Michael Baratta used fraud and deceit to wrest control of the cemetery and have turned it into a for-profit enterprise that sells cheap burials by the hundreds through New York and Long Island funeral homes.
News 12’s Brian Donohue looks at a battle over sacred ground and a place considered an important part of local African American history.


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