ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A stolen headstone that was meant to honor a 103-year-old mother and grandmother from Albuquerque has been found just in time for Mother’s Day.
“She was a wonderful and beautiful and she had a good life,” said Lester Brown about his mother, Mary Brown.
Someone stole his nephew’s truck and camper two months ago with the headstone and loads of Mary’s belongings inside. They were going to take it to her gravesite at a family cemetery in Arizona.
“I thought it was long gone,” said Cole Brown, Mary’s grandson. “I thought it was long gone, but we have it here now so it’s back in our family and I appreciate it very much.”
On Thursday night, KRQE News 13 got a call to the station. The caller said he found the headstone in a dumpster near Central and Tramway.
KRQE News 13 called police and went to check out the scene.
“It is right there,” Carl Ray said, pointing to it.
Ray said he remembered KRQE News 13’s story when he was looking through the dumpster and saw the headstone.
“I have been dumpster diving a lot, but I’ve never ran into a headstone,” Ray said. “For it to be the one that people were looking for, that’s even cooler than cool.”
Hours later, Brown’s family arrived to get the roughly 200-pound granite headstone. They loaded it in the car and made plans to take it to Mary’s gravesite for Mother’s Day on Sunday.
“If someone’s going to take the gravestone to its final site, it’s going to be me,” Cole said. “I’m going to make sure it’s there and no pit stops.”
“I think she was taking care, watching over the headstone,” Lester said. “So she thought, it’s Mother’s Day. I want it back now.”
Police recovered the stolen truck, but the family hasn’t heard anything about potential suspects.
The family was offering a reward to the person who found the headstone. They said that they still want to honor that but the man who found it told KRQE News 13 that he doesn’t want it.