Missing headstones update

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - New information tonight from 12 On Your Side that may put markers on graves for grieving families. They were customers of "Hess-Trigard", a Petersburg company that closed up without delivering tombstones that were ordered. But 12 On Your Side found the monument maker that "Hess-Trigard" hired but never paid.

The Georgia company has more than two dozen headstones ready to be delivered. Those are the 30 monuments wrapped in cardboard ready to be shipped from Georgia to Virginia. They belong on the unmarked graves of grieving Petersburg area families. They were sandblasted, names inscribed and art work completed months ago. Like those families, Kyle Branan owner of 'Everlasting Granite Memorial Company' wants to collect from 'Hess-Trigard' too.

When asked how much money he was owed Kyle Branan said, "Ah, close to $10,000. I got a call from an employee from Hess Trigard who told me they were out of business and no more."

So far, Ron Hess, the husband of Beverly Hess, who was the listed owner of 'Hess Trigard Burial Vaults and Memorials' hasn't uttered a word to us about the failed company or undelivered headstones.

He has been talking with police though. Branan says an arrangement to pay him fell apart.

"The first of February police faxed him a list of everything in the freight. He was trying to come up with the money but we haven't seen anything," Branan said.

He says police authorized the sale of the headstones. Branan has teamed up with 'Pembroke Granite', another Petersburg company to get the monuments to the families for the amount 'Hess-Trigard' would have paid.

"Some of the families paid by credit card and they were able to get their money back. Some of the families made a down payment... So, the price of the monument is less than the total price was going to be," he said.

Unclaimed memorials will be destroyed. Branan says Hess-Trigard has caused his company a financial hardship.

"You heard of the saying etched in stone, there is no changing. We cannot sell them to someone else. We're stuck with them. We're the ones that are losing the money," said Branan.

Petersburg's commonwealth's attorney wants to know where the money went and it appears charges are imminent.

Kyle Branan: "There are some charges that they've asked me to sort of be quiet about that at this time."
Diane Walker: "Charges for Mr. Hess?"
Kyle Branan: "Yes."

Contact "Pembroke Granite" in Petersburg if you paid Hess-Trigard for a grave marker that was not delivered. Your loved one's monument maybe already made and in Georgia. There's also an installation and freight cost. 

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