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Stolen grave markers

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) We toured the Monroe Police Department's evidence room and made a grave discovery.

Georgia Porter died in 1970. James Marshall died in 1993. Cemeteries are suppose to be a final resting place where loved ones are respected and resting in peace. If those in the grave could speak Monroe Police Department say they would be furious. That's because someone is stealing grave markers and trying to sell the metal at scrap yards.

"Nobody is there at night, nobody thinks about going up there and doing an inventory on headstones and things like that," said Sgt. Mark Johnson.

Seven grave markers have been confiscated in recent years by officers at the Monroe Police Department. They are shocked they have not heard from the families of Julia Hightower, Henry Lee Watson or any of the other names listed on these plaques. Five are even veterans.

"We'd really love to get them back to who they belong to. They don't belong in our evidence room. They need to be where there were meant to and that's at the grave site," said Scott Ferguson.

Officers at the Monroe Police Department say they don't know what cemetery the headstones were taken from but they want your help.

"If you know anybody that's a relative or if you know a family member that is on one of these bronze plaques give us a call," said Ferguson.

"Keep in mind, we're the Arklamiss, and since we have more scrap yards than anywhere else these things could have come from anywhere. They may have come from as far away as Mississippi or Arkansas," said Sgt. Johnson.

The officers have suspects who they say tried to sell the metal markers at a scrap yard but they need family members to come forward in order to press charges.

So far the suspects in the case have not said where the plaques came from. Unless police get a lead soon, the case could be too old to prosecute.

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