Elsie Cromer says her brother, Clifford, always wanted to be buried next to his mother at Morrow Cemetery in Wayne County.
Two years ago he died of cancer and Cromer had a 400 lb. headstone erected in his memory. About six months later, she received a horrifying phone call, telling her the headstone was gone.
Someone had stolen the entire stone. And Cromer says that was no easy task. “It wasn't as if some boys came in here and put a stone in their pocket. It took some real planning to get it out of there,” she said.
But several months later, a fisherman found the stone in Lake Cumberland. However, it took nearly a half dozen people to haul the heavy stone out of the water.
“We took a wench, a four-wheeler, and a sled, and we had to pull it upon a sled to get it out of the embankment,” said Cromer.
After the headstone was securely fit into the base, vandals returned, and knowing they couldn't steal the stone a second time, they went after the picture on it instead.
Clifford Morrow's picture survived seven months below Lake Cumberland, but apparently not the work of vandals the second go around.
Cromer thinks the vandalism is part of a hate crime and says police are investigating but they haven't found the suspects.
“I think God will solve all of it. I know the law will do what they can, but in the long run, God will take care of it,” said Cromer.