Stolen Grave Markers Returned

By: Jacquie Slater Email
By: Jacquie Slater Email

The bronze markers that were stolen off of the veteran's graves at the Little Ochlocknee Baptist Church Cemetery are bent, scratched, and in a state of disrepair.

Travis Lamar Kirkland and William Eric Griffin have been charged with a total of forty-one counts of felony theft by taking and criminal damage to property. The pair are accused of stealing the bronze plaques off of the graves, scratching off the names, cutting them in half and selling them to a scrap yard.

"Yesterday, Early County Sherriff's Office returned the grave markers that had been recovered for us up in Early County and we've taken them down, put them into evidence and are trying to determine what will be the next step," said Steve Jones of the Thomas County Sherriff's Department.

The plaques are expensive to replace and police say the victims in the case are trying to figure out how to pay for them.

Authorities say the missing plaques are as just as much a sentimental loss as they are a monetary one.

The plaques are designated markers for veteran's only, to honor their service to their country.

"They were heartbroken. They were more devastated that someone would steal something of this nature than they were with the actual value of the loss," said Jones.

For now, the cemetery that relatives take so much pride in is still missing a piece of the history that makes it so special.

Griffin and Kirkland remain at the Thomas County Jail on a $100,100.00 bond each.

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  • by Danny Location: Tallahassee on Dec 4, 2011 at 04:45 AM
  • by sandyT on Dec 3, 2011 at 04:30 PM
    Total disrespect. They should have to pay for new plaques and engraving. After that, make them walk the streets with signs saying they disrespected the dead. Bt trying to rob them of their names. Stupid inbreds!
  • by Patriot Location: USA on Dec 3, 2011 at 06:40 AM
    Simple punishment. 6 weeks basic training, then to the front lines in Afghanistan. There, they will learn to appreciate our servicemen and what they do for our country!
    • reply
      by lee on Dec 3, 2011 at 11:04 AM in reply to Patriot
      That should be 12 weeks in Julu at Parris Inlsnd SC. along with 8 more weeks at Camp lejune NC.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM in reply to Patriot
      No, Don't punish them by giving them the honor of serving our country.
  • by sewinglady Location: Bainbridge on Dec 3, 2011 at 05:40 AM
    They should make these guys go to the nursing home and bathe,dress and take care of the veterans for several weeks and then get a job and pay for the markers even if it takes years. If I lived in that area, I would like to help with a fund raiser to replace the markers. These guys are the scum of the earth but can do better if they have a heavy foot behind them.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM in reply to sewinglady
      So the only thing stopping you from fundraising is your location? This happened in the U.S.(where you live) now you can start your fundraising!
    • reply
      by Deb on Dec 4, 2011 at 04:15 PM in reply to sewinglady
      GOOD one!
  • by Bob Location: Jasper on Dec 3, 2011 at 05:31 AM
    Make anyone convicted of stealing them PAY FOR REPLACEMENTS!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM in reply to Bob
      You don't think they'll have to pay restitution if found guilty?
  • by man oh man on Dec 3, 2011 at 05:16 AM
    The low lifes in our communities never cease to amaze me...
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Dec 3, 2011 at 04:34 AM
    The perps should be tossed in jail, an announcement made that their labor is available at or below minimum wage, and they should be forced to work at those jobs offered at the wages offered. Wages to be paid to the county to be used for the cost of their incarceration until the plaques can be replaced and paid for.
  • by George on Dec 3, 2011 at 02:36 AM
    If they are guilty, then these two should have to pay for replacement.
    • reply
      by tydye on Dec 5, 2011 at 04:01 AM in reply to George
      I unfortunately know these guys. It is believed by myself and others that they have also been stealing the wiring out from under peoples houses and stripping the copper wire. I hope they get convicted and punished to the full extent of the law. My father is a veteran and I believe they should have their citizenship revoked. Just my opinion.
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