Law enforcement officials want to know how more than a dozen grave markers ended up outside a Hunt County home. They were being used to pave a walkway.
Hunt County Precinct 4 Constable Kent Layton said a homeowner in Quinlan found the 20 granite stones while doing some landscaping work. They were turned upside down and set in the ground like paving stones.
“This is bizarre. I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Layton said. “The stones were laid in a pathway leading to a porch side by side of each other long ways. There were 10 on each side — 20 stones total."
Layton’s office traced 17 of the stones back to the Mount Olivet and Greenwood cemeteries in Fort Worth. At least six were military headstones and three are still unaccounted for.
The constable says the new homeowners had no idea. They said the stones were there when he bought the property. The house was built in 2007 so they were placed sometime after that. Most of the people named on the markers died in 1974.
"They're kind of upset that they found those there on their property, and they don't want any part of it,” Layton said.
But it’s not yet clear if a crime was committed. Layton’s office is trying to determine if the markers were ever reported missing of if they were replaced or discarded for some reason.
The fact that some of the names were chiseled out gives Constable Layton the idea that some of the grave markers were discarded on purpose. He believes the 20 grave markers belong to people buried in two cemeteries not in Hunt County, but 80 miles away in Tarrant County.
"Right now, I'm trying to identify if those were scrapped or if they've been stolen,” he said.
Workers at the two cemeteries in Tarrant County are trying to confirm if the grave markers were stolen or if they were simply discarded because of errors. If they were stolen, whoever took them could be charged with desecrating a grave, which is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison.
Constable Layton will try to locate the home’s previous owner and the families of those listed on the markers. They include:
James P. Adkins, 1901-1974
Robert F. Jones, 1907 -1974
George G. Stodsdill, 1913-1974
Clark Katling, 1925-1974
Bobby Leroy Leak, 1935-1964
Lester B. Pike, 1917-1974
Mabell Montgomery, 1889-1974
Delbert W. Johnson, 1896-1974
Kathryn M. Lee, 1917-1967
Cecilia Kirnan Streeter, 1894-1974
Zeta Trigg Rikes, 1982-1974
Loyrice Cobb Mothea, 1908-1974
Julia Ann Elliott, 1891-1974
Vernon J. Dwire Jr., 1920-1974
Hortencia Sanchez, 1956-1956
Robert V. Nichols, 1908-1974
Lora S. Wyatt 1881-1975
Virginia C. Watkins, 1917-1965
David R. March Jr., 1896-1967
Geneva M. Wells, 1908-1962