The puzzling disappearance of more than 209 headstones from a North Carolina cemetery came to a startling conclusion this week, when authorities arrested the site’s maintenance manager.
William Allen Shannon Jr., 47, is charged with taking the brass headstones from Alamance Memorial Park in Burlington, according to a statement from the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office. Burlington is approximately 35 miles northwest of Durham.
The markers were stored at the cemetery and were discovered missing on December 16, the deputies said.
“Investigators have determined that no break-ins occurred, focusing the investigation on employees who may have had access to the storage closets,” the deputies said.
A series of clues pointed to Shannon, including security system recordings, officials said.
He was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and charged with one count of theft by an employee and one count of obtaining property under false pretences, sheriff’s office officials said. Bail was set at $30,000.
It’s not yet clear why the markers were stolen, but investigators said “junkyard records” and interviews helped them find their suspect.
The Alamance Memorial Park dates to 1948 and includes “ground burial, lawn crypts, cremation, mausoleums, niches, and private estates,” according to its website. The cemetery says flat headstones “cost between $250 and $600.”