Favorite

Veteran’s Tombstone Stolen for Scrap? 

click to enlarge Brian Slack wants to know how where this grave marker rightfully belongs. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Brian Slack wants to know how where this grave marker rightfully belongs.

Timothy G. Harris’s tombstone stands in quiet Oakwood Cemetery. But it also leans against a concrete road divider on the edge of a local scrap yard.

A concerned veteran is trying to figure out what happened.

Four weeks ago, a man dropped off a load of scrap metal at a local recycling facility (the owner asked that his company’s name not be printed). Hidden in the pile, the owner found the white granite tombstone, which had been used to add weight to the load.

According to his marker and Navy records, Harris was a petty officer third class. He died Sept. 24, 2000, at the age of 34. “And we don’t know what his story was,” says Brian Slack, a friend of the scrap yard owner and a veteran himself. We “just want to get this veteran his tombstone back to him.”

Here’s the twist: “There’s already a headstone on that gravesite,” says Christy Everson, the spokeswoman for the city Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department. “So it doesn’t need replacing.” The city oversees Oakwood Cemetery, where Harris is interred. Headstones are the private property of families of the deceased, Everson adds.

The information on the marker matches online military records. If the stone were a duplicate, or an error, it should have been destroyed, Slack says. That’s the policy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The owner of the scrap yard reported the incident to police, who arrived and took a photo. Slack also called the administrator at Oakwood Cemetery, Ricky Weeks, to no avail. “No one has contacted me whatsoever,” Slack says. “I just don’t quite understand it.”

The owner of the company says he knows who took the marker because he requires scrap sellers to submit their drivers’ licenses. As of Monday, no arrest had been made.

How much extra money did the man get for the weight of the tombstone?

Thirteen dollars.

Favorite

Latest in News and Features

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Off the Beaten Path

    Off the Beaten Path

    A runner and lifelong lover of the James River captures evocative images of the park system in photo book.
    • Jul 27, 2021
  • Museum Makeovers

    Museum Makeovers

    How four Richmond museums are being transformed.
    • Jul 20, 2021
  • One Stop Shop

    One Stop Shop

    Jackson Ward’s beloved Stoplight Gelato set to reopen this fall with a new partner, Richmond Seltzer Co.
    • Jul 13, 2021
  • Brothers on Bikes

    Brothers on Bikes

    The Bike Monday Bros are opening up Richmond’s cycle culture to all.
    • Jul 6, 2021
  • More »

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation