ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A family’s specially-crafted final goodbye to a loved one was stolen from them.
It was meant to honor a 103-year-old mother and grandmother, but a heartbroken family says thieves stole her headstone.
The family says it’s offering a reward for the missing headstone.
Lester Brown lost his mother two months ago. He said she died in her sleep.
“She was 103, and she had a full life. She was happy,” Lester said.
Much of that full life was spent in Albuquerque, but Mary was born in Arizona so that is where her family was headed last month with a specially-made headstone that Mary herself had picked out before her death.
“We loaded up everything at the house,” Lester said. “They were on their way back and they thought they would stop and eat at—in fact, I recommended Cracker Barrel for them.”
In the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel on Coors NW near I-40, his nephew’s truck and camper with the headstone and loads of Mary’s belongings were stolen.
A week later, police found the truck but no camper and no headstone.
“I was upset. It was a shock,” Lester said. “I don’t see why they took it. They should have just left it in the truck. They have no use for it.”
The family contacted the Alibi to advertise a $200 reward for its return, no questions asked.
“It was special to our family that my mother picked it, and we were happy to take it but it’s gone now,” Lester said. “I don’t know if it could ever be replaced again.”
The family said, in addition to the headstone, there were about 15 bags of Mary’s belongings in the truck.
They planned to donate them to Navajo families in Arizona.