Two Arrested For Grave Digging and Looting in Georgia

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Associated Press Release

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (AP) -- The second man accused of desecrating a historic cemetery has been arrested.

Burke County sheriff's Sgt. Sean Cochran tells the Augusta Chronicle tipsters led authorities to 39-year-old Jerry Atkinson Wednesday. Authorities last week arrested Atkinson's alleged 42-year-old accomplice Ralph "Bubba" Hillis.

Atkinson and Hillis are accused of digging up and looting graves at the Old Church Cemetery near Waynesboro. The cemetery dates back to 1758 and holds remains of revolutionary and confederate soldiers. A caretaker found evidence of the desecration April 13. Among other things, a casket containing remains of a 14-month-old girl buried there in 1884 was removed and its contents dumped out.

The men face charges of malicious removal of dead bodies from graves and drug charges. Cochran says nothing stolen from the graves has been recovered.


Associated Press Release

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (AP) -- Sheriff's officials in eastern Georgia say a man has been arrested and another is sought by police in cemetery desecration case.

Burke County Sheriff's Sgt. Sean Cochran Tuesday said 42-year-old Ralph "Bubba" Hillis was taken into custody in Richmond County after authorities received a tip and found him at a meth lab.

Hillis and another man are accused of digging up graves at the Old Church Cemetery near Waynesboro. The cemetery dates back to 1758 and holds remains of revolutionary and confederate soldiers. A caretaker found evidence of the desecration April 13.

Authorities say they're also searching for 39-year-old Jerry Atkinson Jr., who jumped from a window and ran into the woods when police came looking for him.


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