UPDATE: Cemetery thief steals WWII veteran's grave marker - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Cemetery thief steals WWII veteran's grave marker

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Photo by WRCB reporter Sara Sidery. Photo by WRCB reporter Sara Sidery.

UPDATE: A northwest Georgia cemetery was desecrated, and now a World War II veteran's grave marker is gone.

Suspected scrap metal thieves dug the footstone right out of the ground. 

The thief hit the Higher Praise Cemetery in Chatsworth. That's where Vickie Correll's entire family is buried.

She wants to know why someone would steal her stepfather's footstone. But more than anything, she just hopes the thief returns it.

"My son came over to mow around my family's grave," said Correll. "He called me back, and he said, 'Momma, PawPaw Jimmy's V.A. rock's gone.'"

Correll had to drive to her family's cemetery to see for herself. Sure enough, her step-father's footstone had been pried right out of the ground.

Jimmie Hogsed's brass and granite footstone remained untouched for nearly 30 years, until sometime over the past two weeks.

"It just takes a low life, in my book," Correll said, "to steal from a cemetery."

And steal from a deceased veteran, no less.

The proud army vet served in WWII. His family made sure it said so on his footstone.

"He fought hard in the service... and for that to be taken away from him," Correll said.

Detectives with the Murray County Sheriff's Office are now on the case.

In the meantime, the family has tried searching for themselves.

"My son, he searched all down in the woods to see if they had thrown the granite down in there," Correll said, "but we didn't find any trace of anything. All we found was a hole in the ground."

Investigators are checking with local scrap yards to see if the thief stopped by.

A scrapper couldn't get more than $10 or $15 for a footstone like this one, and it's against Georgia law for scrap yards to accept burial items in the first place -- unless the seller can show a proper burial services license.

Correll is now pleading for information to give honor back to a veteran's grave.

"I'm hoping that somebody will come forward and let us know something," she said.

Anyone with information should contact the Murray County Sheriff's Office at (706) 695-4592.

PREVIOUS STORY: A cemetery footstone was stolen from a Georgia grave, then the veteran's family hope to have it returned.

The marker, which has the name "Jimmy H. Hogshead" on it and is inscribed with the dates "02-20-1925/05/29/1987."

The footstone, made of copper and granite, was taken from the High Praise Cemetery in Chatsworth, and is described as 2 1/2 feet long and 1 1/12 feet wide, and should also have "WW II" on it, according to the Murray County Sheriff's Office.

If you have information on the footstone, please call the Murray County Sheriff's Office at (706) 695-4592.

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