July 7, 2004 -- Posted 3:30 p.m. CDT
Walcott, AR -- The grave of a relative of one of northeast Arkansas' forefathers was robbed Tuesday afternoon in Walcott. Greene County officials are calling it a disturbing act of vandalism.
The grave of Ben Crowley, who lived from 1872-1873, was dug up from the private secluded family cemetery in Walcott. A farmer came upon the scene while strolling through the area on Tuesday. He later contacted the Greene County Sheriff's Department.
"Nothing physical here to retrieve as evidence to figure out who did it," said Greene County Sheriff Dan Langston. "We don't even know if anything is missing at this time, we don't know if it was a child's coffin or what."
Sheriff Langston has contacted the Crowley family, who say they're disgusted about what happened there. It's a place where the family holds reunions.
"It doesn't look like a machine did this, it looks like someone with a shovel that took the time to do this," said Langston.
The marker on the turned over grave reads Benjamin Crowley. He was just an infant at the time of his death, and his father was Benjamin H. Crowley.
"Benjamin H. was the grandson of Benjamin F. Crowley, and Benjamin F. is of course the founder of the Ridge," said Rick Lane with Crowley's Ridge State Park. "Benjamin H. is the grandson who in the 1870's tried to pull together the family holdings again."
It's a family with a long tradition in Region 8's history which makes this case all the more disturbing for officials.
Sheriff Langston says grave tampering is a crime and those involved will be prosecuted.