Police call on public to help in infant’s headstone mystery

Police call on public to help in infant's headstone mystery
Updated: Aug. 17, 2018 at 6:53 PM EDT
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BLACKSTONE, VA (WWBT) - Right now there's a mystery unfolding in Blackstone involving an infant headstone, and you might be able to help solve it.

Several grave markers, including headstones, were discovered at Lakeview Cemetery in Blackstone at the end of June.

Town Manager Philip Vannoorbeeck said he was driving through the cemetery inspecting the area when he noticed the markers out of place.

"There were items that just didn't appear to be the same," Vannoorbeeck said. "Some of it was set up very neatly in rows, with the stones and the Confederate markers, flags and all sorts of things. Some of the stones though were thrown under bushes and thrown in the woods and that sort of thing."

While it's been a long process to figure out where the markers came from, a majority of them have been identified.

"The majority of them are Confederate soldiers," Vannoorbeeck said. "They were easier to identify."

What haven't been easy are the handful of infant markers, one in particular, with a name that is giving investigators a difficult time.

"[It's] probably the bigger mystery of the bunch," Vannoorbeeck said.

The stone reads "Infant daughter of S.L. & N.H. Graham." The burial date is July 6 ,1920. It was also found next to a footstone that said "Mother."

While there's more information on this headstone compared to some of the other infant markers discovered at Lakeview Cemetery, the Blackstone Police Department is calling on help from the community in finding out who it belongs to.

"I think our role as the keepers of the cemetery, we really want those returned," Vannoorbeeck said. "Because if it were opposite, I'm sure the families of an infant stone, or baby, or loved one would really want to see it back."

"It's very unusual to have someone relocate the items in your cemetery," said Blackstone Police Chief Nicholas Kuzmiak.

The Chief said they've gotten several tips thus far about the infant headstone.

Those tips suggest S.L. and N.H. Graham are buried in Westview Cemetery in Farmville.

Additional research shows it's possible the family could have lived in Lunenburg and Prince Edward Counties for several years.

"We're hoping to find ancestors that we may be able to contact in order to confirm that," Kuzmiak said.

And they've got two names.

"We've identified them as Eugenia "Genie" and Libbie Hardy who may have been cousins or are believed to be cousins [of the infant]," Kuzmiak said.

"That's our number one goal, to get these back," Vannoorbeeck said.

Kuzmiak said they've reached out to several cemeteries in order to figure out where these markers go, in addition to FindAGrave.com.

"When we do figure out what belongs with which stone, it always leads us to wonder about the person we're thinking and talking about," Kuzmiak added.

Anyone with information on the Hardys or the infant headstone is urged to contact the Blackstone Police Department.

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