The police officer’s burial site had been “in perfect shape” the last time the officer’s father had gone to visit it, he said.
But when Bob Peevey arrived at Grace Memorial Garden in Jonesboro, Ark., to visit his son’s grave on Feb. 18, the site was in disarray: The plaque had been broken, Peevey told police, and the urn containing his late son Sgt. Robert Peevey’s ashes had disappeared entirely, the Associated Press reports.
“I felt violated and mad,” Peevey, the father, told KAIT. “I just couldn’t believe anyone would do something like this. Some sick individual doing a useless random act. I just don’t know anyone who would do that.”
Sgt. Peevey had worked in law enforcement nearly 20 years and was 43 years old when he died unexpectedly in October 2015, KAIT reports. His father told the TV station that he would sometimes visit his son’s grave several days a week.
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“I would just talk with him,” the officer’s father told the TV station. “Tell him how his son was doing and that everything was still working.”
After the family discovered the vandalism, they offered a reward for anyone who could return the ashes or who could provide information leading to an arrest.
“My parents do not deserve to relive this tragic day,” Tracy Peevey Roberts, the deceased officer’s sister, wrote on Facebook Feb. 18. “Today we lost my brother again.”
But Feb. 23, there was finally promising news for the family. Jonesboro police arrested Brandon Nelson, 21, and Brook Edwards, 22, in connection with the incident.
Police told KARK that the pair confessed, and have been charged with numerous offenses — including defacing a burial monument, criminal mischief, abuse of a corpse and theft.
Police told the TV station that some of the ashes were recovered, but not all of the remains.
The officer’s family is relieved, the deceased officer’s sister wrote on Facebook.
“We have been blessed,” Roberts said. “My brother’s ashes are home. The criminals are in custody.”
When he died in 2015, Sgt. Peevey had been working at the Arkansas State University Police Department.