CANDOR – A cemetery is a place of peace, but a family from Candor in Montgomery County said the Oak Hill Cemetery is far from peaceful. From missing items on their father's grave to the completely wrong burial plot, the Bowden family said they're heartbroken. The family buried their 88-year-old father, Marshall Bowden, at Oak Hill in January, but have had issues ever since.
"Right now, I'm going to be honest. I'm not at peace at right now. I'm not at peace about this situation because it's just been going on so much to where you can't really rest. Comfort though, I do find comfort through the word of God," Jamie Bowden said, one of Marshall's daughters.
The family said for the past few months someone has been stealing from their father's grave. They said a flag is missing, bricks are gone, flowers were moved and other items were found in the woods.
"It just hurts to know that somebody is that cruel and cold-hearted to come out here and do something like that and I just want to say you know, if you can't stop for yourself, at least just stop for the families," Christina Bowden-Gouger said, another daughter.
On top of the supposed theft, the family said their father was not buried in the correct grave. They chose Oak Hill Cemetery because a lot of other family members are buried there, but they did not choose the place they discovered their father's grave.
"He's already in the wrong place. He was supposed to be back down over there," Jamie said pointing to a plot about 50 yards away.
The family said it bought the plot from a woman known to volunteer at the cemetery. The family said that woman put a marker in the wrong spot, which led their dad to his current resting place, in error. The Brutonville Concerned Citizens Board said it's the group that actually oversees the cemetery. After hearing about what happened to the Bowdens, the board said it made it clear that people should purchase plots from it, not the woman.
The funeral home and a board member told WFMY News 2 they offered to move the grave for free, but the family said no. The family said it's mostly concerned about the possible thieves taking things from their dad's grave.
"There are a lot of families that are hurting behind this. I mean, you never get over losing somebody and then whenever you do and you come back and see what you have done has been moved, that's like taking a piece of you out," Jamie said.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department said it has not received any complaints about things missing from the cemetery. The Bowden family said it plans on filing a report this week.
The board who oversees the cemetery said it has received at least two complaints of things missing in the past week.