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Memorial tree and husband's ashes mistakenly placed on wrong property

10:35 PM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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The couple had lived for years in Breckenridge, a place Jim loved. He enjoyed skiing and he loved all the pine trees on their property.

"Life became very good out here, and when I lost him to ALS it was very, very devastating for me and for my daughter," Thompson said.

Jim battled with Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, for a year and a half. Before he died he purchased a gift certificate for a tree. He wanted his wife to plant the tree in his memory. When Jim died his wife and daughter moved to Castle Rock and purchased a new home. They paid to have a fence built around the property using the property markers placed by the builder.

Denise planted the tree her husband had bought in the back corner of the yard. She then scattered his ashes beneath the tree. It became a place for her to go to remember Jim.

"I love it. It is peaceful. It is therapy," Thompson said.

For four years the pine tree grew. This year, the neighborhood did the same. Richmond American Homes purchased adjacent lots and began construction on single family homes.

"My doorbell rang. I went to the door and a gentleman was standing out there and he said your fence is encroaching on my property," Thompson said.

After looking at property maps Thompson realized Richmond American Homes was correct. The property markers placed by her builder were incorrectly positioned. The fence along the back of her property, her husband's tree and his ashes were on the property owned by Richmond American Homes.

She is concerned that her husband's ashes cannot be recovered and that if the tree is moved it might die. She is asking Richmond American Homes to grant her an easement and allow the tree to stay.

"I just want the easement. I just want it all to just stop," Thompson said.

In a statement released by Richmond American Homes they say they have been attempting to meet with Denise Thompson in an effort to amicably resolve this matter. They say, "Ms. Thompson has recently declined to meet with Richmond representatives for such purposes." They went on to say, "While we sympathize with Ms. Thompson's situation, Richmond has a legal obligation to deliver good title to the Richmond Home and property to the new homebuyers. We have offered to relocate the landscaping improvements Ms. Thompson installed on the Richmond property to Ms. Thompson's property, at Richmond's sole cost; however, Ms. Thompson has also declined this offer."

Read the entire statement

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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