Officials removed a bench dedicated to a young car crash victim from a North Carolina park Monday, and friends claim it was because the bench featured a Bible verse and two crosses.
"I just could not believe that they would take something away from my precious little baby like that," the child's mother, Heather Roten, told Fox 8.
Her 16-month old son, Mason, died after the crash in August. Friends and Elkin High School alumni say they arranged to create the metal bench and place it in Elkin Municipal Park.
One engraving on the bench reads, "In loving memory of Mason Camden Roten." Another includes a verse from the book of Psalms.
Officials in Elkin removed the bench Monday, reportedly placing it in storage.
Town manager John Holcomb told Fox 8 officials had never approved the bench, pointing out that it was placed on top of a different memorial. "It is a beautiful bench and we are currently working to find another more suitable location for the bench which is in memory of a young child," he added.
But the child's mother said alumni did, in fact, get permission, and other residents say it was removed because of the Bible references.
"They're pretty much calling us liars, that they didn't get permission which they did," Heather Roten told the news station.