Family says mementos stolen from private grave

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The sun is setting over a quiet Montgomery County cemetery as family members gather around and reflect.

"You feel like everything should be safe here," said Janet Martin, who's son is laid to rest at the private, family cemetery.

For Martin and her family, this place brings up many memories because so many of their loved ones are resting there.

"It's very sacred to me. It's my family's cemetery and my son is laid to rest here," described Martin.

Recently that feeling of safety was taken away, along with the mementos left to honor Martin's son and nieces.

"This is a place to honor him and I feel like that somebody that comes up here and disrespects it is really low down."

On Tuesday, a family member found that the graves had been disturbed and many items were missing. The solar lights lining three of the graves, a horse statue that Martin has to remember her son who worked with horses, and even a bench at a baby's headstone were all gone.

"It made me sick at my stomach," said Sheila Martin, who first discovered the theft. Sheila Martin said she was there to tend her daughter's grave on the anniversary of the day she lost her.

"I can't even wrap my head around the type of person that would take something from somebody's grave," added Janet Martin.

What confuses the family even more, is that this cemetery is so private. They point out that it can't even be seen from the road, which has them wondering how anyone even found it to steal from it?

The family filed a police report, and they say investigators speculate someone may have discovered the graves after exploring the off-road trail back behind the Martins' family member's home.

"It's got to be somebody that's either been back here with someone (or) someone brought someone back here," stated Sheila Martin, before adding that she chooses not to believe that theory.

"I don't care how many years it's been that's your child and you don't forget them," said Janet Martin.

The family has already replaced some of the stolen items with new mementos because they couldn't bear to see the graves picked apart. Still, they aren't finding much comfort, and they might not find much until they know this place of rest can be left in peace.

The Martins hope some answers can be found, and they even hope that the person or persons behind the theft return the items to the grave site soon.

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