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Cremated remains missing from Fayetteville graveyard

Posted August 24, 2010

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— Police on Tuesday were searching for the person who stole cremated remains from Cumberland Memorial Gardens, 4509 Raeford Road.

Diane Jones had stored the remains of her son, Charles Eugene Jones II, in a granite display called the Rock of Ages. The 27-year-old committed suicide last September.

"We were just starting to be able to deal with it. And this is just like he died all over again. It's just devastating," Jones said Tuesday.

Jones had been visiting her son's remains three times a week at the Cumberland Memorial Cemetery. She would often sit there in her lawn chair.

"It makes me feel closer to my son," she said. "He's an only child, and I want to be as near to him as I can be."

On Friday, she noticed his ashes were gone.

Jones said in December a set of praying hands that were engraved atop the grave marker were also taken.

"The cemetery and church are sacred grounds. You just don't do stuff like that," she said.

Cremated remains missing from Fayetteville graveyard Remains missing from Fayetteville graveyard

A few weeks ago, Jones said someone used nail polish to write the letters "A" and "R" on the rock border beside the grave.

"He had no enemies at all. He was friendly with everybody," Jones said of her son, who left behind now-2-year-old twins.

The director of the cemetery referred all questions to Service Corporation International, the business' corporate offices in Texas.

"Our hearts go out to the Jones family at this time. Theft of any kind is unacceptable, but theft from cemetery property is particularly despicable," Service Corporation spokeswoman Jennifer Lange Brandino said. "By their nature, cemeteries are open and available to the public, and restricting all access at all times is unrealistic. We hope that whoever committed this crime is caught and brought to justice, and we encourage anyone with information to come forward."

No other grave stones appeared to have been tampered with on Monday.

Jones said there is a $3,000 reward for the return of her son's remains.

"I don't care about prosecuting anybody. That's not what I want. I just want him back," Jones said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 910-433-1856 or 910-483-TIPS.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • mpheels Aug 25, 2010

    hereandnow - I'm pretty sure the decedent's next of kin (or other state beneficiary) owns the remains, just as she owns the plot of land the memorial is on and the stone memorial itself.

  • wildcat Aug 25, 2010

    What would someone want with a deceased person's ashes?

  • shortcake53 Aug 25, 2010

    Just an observation, but girls would use nailpolish, guys would probably use spray paint. Makes me wonder........

  • ashleyleanna2006 Aug 25, 2010

    I hope who ever took Charlie away from his family especailly his kids rots in hell! This is a sad & I really hope they get caught.

  • dnlsofdurham Aug 25, 2010

    I wonder what the "A" and "R" in nail polish meant. Very bizarre.

  • kbo80 Aug 24, 2010

    There are some sick people in the world. Taking an individual's remains is just low.

  • Adelinthe Aug 24, 2010


    What kind of sicko???

    Praying for the family.

    God bless.


  • smalldogsrule Aug 24, 2010

    This is beyond bizzare. I have lived in the Fayetteville area most of my life, and the past few years have really begun to disturb me.

    My mom and dad are buried in the Cumberland Memorial Gardens. I have never heard of any vandalism or thefts from there (not to say it hasn't happened).

  • shortcake53 Aug 24, 2010

    My heart goes out to the family. Is nothing sacred anymore? Your not even safe if your dead. Praying the family member is returned.

  • simplyme29 Aug 24, 2010

    Boyfriend perhaps?..Weird...sad:(