Investigation continues into stolen gravestones
YORK -- Lincoln police are looking for relatives of dead people whose stolen gravestones were found in a rented storage unit.
The family of a Lincoln man who died last summer found the 47 tombstones and notified police.
Now the police are asking for help from the public, because, despite conversations with cemetery caretakers, investigators haven't found out where to return the tombstones.
"We'd like to get as many of them returned to their place of rest as we can," said Police Chief Tom Casady.
The macabre collection "probably came from a lifetime of stealing headstones," Casady said.
Some of the gravestones date to the late 1800s; others are relatively recent. Police say they probably came from different cemeteries at different times.
The gravestones are pictured on the police Web site in hopes that people who click on will recognize names and notify relatives or police. Readers may go to http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/police/gravehttp://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/police/grave to see photographs of the stones.
Investigators also will check public records to see whether any of the names on the gravestones match death certificates filed in Nebraska.
The following are inscriptions from some of the headstones, with a number being difficult to decipher:
Ellis Preston, June 3, 1903-July 17, 1954
Shelly K. Wright-Lair
Mother Irene E. Enright, 1882-1941
Dorothy Alice Cook, 1906-1911
Annabell Wise, June 11, 1916-Oct. 16, 1916
1st Exec. Officers -- 1881; Mrs. BB Hays, Mrs. AR Clark, Mrs. RS Rust, Mrs. FA Aiken
Kathryn Ann Murtaugh, April 17, 1933
Johny, son of M & M Hawkins
Little Mary, WH & EJ Ashton, died July 1, 1871
Todd Gardner, caretaker of the Greenwood Cemetery in York, says he hasn't been contacted by any law enforcement officials regarding this situation -- but has heard about the story.
"We aren't missing any headstones here, at all," he said yesterday. "And we haven't had any taken in the past."
Area residents are asked to contact the Lincoln police if they recognize a name or family listed on the gravestones, so they can be returned to the rightful owners.