TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Several families with loved ones laid to rest at Memorial Gardens are heartbroken because someone is snatching their decorations within days of being put out.
Local mother, Jennifer Houser, says the families just want to know why and for the stealing to stop.
According to Houser, her daughter’s grave has been vandalized and burglarized three times since late September.
“‘Well, maybe one of the groundskeepers had moved them while they were weeding and they were going to put them back,'” Houser recalls thinking. “And so I searched and found the foreman, the caretakers and he said no.”
Her daughter, Morgan Angerbauer, has been buried in the cemetery since 2016. She died of diabetic complications in the Bi-State Jail, after allegedly being forced to eat sugar. Houser says hers is not the only gravesite affected in the cemetery. Others have taken to Facebook to express their anger.
“You know don’t steal from us, those are our loved ones, I mean they’re dead, they’re no longer here,” said Houser.
“The recent thefts at memorial gardens are disturbing,” Memorial Gardens Chief Operations Officer Fred Meisenheimer said in a statement. “We are devastated and heartbroken for the families to have to go through this. We can not imagine the pain they must be going through. Why someone would want to continue to cause harm, we do not know.”
“That little piece of land is all that we have left on earth of our loved one and we take pride decorating it, just going out and get the right stuff. I mean, we sit out here for hours and working hard on their grave. For someone to come and take from it just, it rips your heart out it’s like losing them all over again,” said Houser.
The families are offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Texarkana police say they are actively investigating. There are no suspects so far. Anyone with any information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (903) 798-3154 or (903)-793-STOP.