Thieves Targeting Wagoner County Gravesite, Family Says

Monday, September 17th 2012, 5:06 pm
By: News On 6

A Wagoner County family said they want to know who is stealing keepsakes from their loved one's grave.

Billy Lee's family said thieves are targeting his gravestone in an Okay cemetery.

The Three Rivers Cemetery is the final resting place for hundreds of people who called Okay home. The graves are marked with unique headstones and decorated with a personal touch, by surviving family.

In the back, under a big shade tree, is the grave of Billy Lee, Jr., 22 years old when he died in 2010.

His family has decorated his grave with wind chimes and fishing poles.

"Oh yes, he was very country. He was very country," said Audra Moore.

Moore is Billy's older sister. She often comes to his gravesite to remember her brother, who everyone affectionately called "Ol' Bill".

"It's still not sunk in yet, after two years," Moore said.

Six months ago, Moore noticed some items placed at her brother's gravesite were missing—small items that she thought, at first, had been blown away by the wind.

But recently, larger items have gone missing, there was a 'Gone Fishin''' sign attached to a stand and a park bench - you can see the stones it stood on - much too big to have been blown away by the wind.

"I don't know why somebody would steal from the dead. It doesn't make any sense," Moore said.

Moore said it's not just her brother's grave that's been targeted. She said she has a friend who has family buried here, who have also seen mementos stolen from the top of their gravestone, even mementos that were glued down.

"It makes me very mad. It makes me very angry," Moore said.

Moore said the thefts have caused her family to think twice about leaving things at her brother's grave, and she hopes whoever is doing it steps forward and takes responsibility.

"We're still grieving, two years later. It's—we're still grieving. Just bring it back—have a soul," Moore said.

Moore is worried that other plots have been targeted.

She said she wants the person who stole the items from her brother's grave to return them, no questions asked.