TODAY   |  October 22, 2013

Cemetery removes SpongeBob headstone

Despite previously approving the monument, a Cincinnati cemetery took down a grave marker with the likeness of the cartoon character and companion piece for which the family of a slain soldier paid more than $26,000. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> well, now to a soildiesoldier's headstone in cincinnati. the marker is in the shape of a popular cartoon character . it was approved. so why has the cemetery now approved it? here's the story.

>> she was excited about spongebob , you know? that was her love and her passion was spongebob .

>> reporter: kimberly walkers family remembers her as a caring young woman . someone always smiling.

>> she just had this love of spongebob and i think it's because he was such a jolly go lucky cartoon character .

>> reporter: so when the army sergeant was murdered in february at age 28 her family spared no expense ordering two spongebob square pants granite head stones to honor kimberly and her twin sister that serves in the navy. they got approve for the monuments by this cincinnati cemetery . final resting place of such icons as the real life procter & gamb gamble. but the cemetery hauled them off.

>> it's unreal. we just can't imagine.

>> reporter: the cemetery apologized saying the family chose a design with a guidance of a spring grove employee who unfortunately made an error in judgment. the monument does not fit within spring grove cemetery guidelines and be here.

>> rare as they may be, spongebob is on another head stone at another cemetery .

>> we picked out the head stone and monument andize and everything before we even contacted the cemetery and never had any friction.

>> reporter: today cemetery officials are scheduled to meet with the walker family with hopes of reaching a compromise saying they'll reimburse the family and pay for new monuments. still a grieving mom wants spongebob as is.

>> we want the spongebob back and that's the only thing we're going to settle for.

>> set in stone, yet far from permanent. nbc news, chicago.