Burke County Officials Offering Reward for Information on Grave Robbers

Burke County Officials Offering Reward for Information on Grave Robbers (Image 1)

This not the set of a Hollywood horror film. Instead, this is what the 120th American Legion Postcommander, Roy Bell Jr discovered as he was tending the grounds at the Old Church Cemetery in Burke County.

Commander Roy Bell adds, “so I stopped and looked and I could tell that someone had excavated the grave. I went ahead and called the sheriff's department and by the time they got here we'd already found four more.”

Bell and investigators found  the chilling remains of infants and adults, dentures that had been left behind and even clothes; what they thought was an act of vandalism at first glance…

But after finding dismantled body parts all over the cemetery as well as disturbed graves, Sgt. Cochran believes that this is more than just vandalism.

“It's obvious that these are grave robbers– these are not people out there just to look to do damage. They're out there for a purpose,” says Sgt. Sean Cochran

Pictures of the robberies hit the Internet and the small community began to buzz– some even coming to the cemetery to see if it was a hoax.

“It takes a sick individual to do such a thing,” exclaims Kayla Smith, Resident

Adam Johnson also a resident adds, “how would you feel if that happened to you or your family?”

Comments Bell and Sgt. Cochran share with the hope that something be done about the incident.  As for a reason?

“They thought that there may've been some type of jewelry or some type of relic they could profit out of it,” Bell explains.

Still, investigators are not yet sure what was taken. But they are sure of one thing says Sgt. Cochran “it's not theirs, it doesn't belong to them and we want it back.”

Sgt. Cochran says that there are no leads yet on any suspects. However, the American Legion post 120 is offering a cash reward for any information about the crime. For more on how you can help with the investigation, call Commander Bell at 706-564-6066 or the Burke County Sheriff's Office at 706-554-2133.

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