CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. — The family that owns a local cemetery says it is heartbroken.
Former workers are accused of stealing more than $300,000 worth of bronze markers from grave sites.
Investigators say they sold them for scrap at a fraction of their value.
It happened at Meadowbrook Memory Gardens in Villa Rica.
Investigators say a couple was stealing the markers for nearly a year.
They stole 72 high-quality bronze markers.
Families paid about $4,500 dollars per marker.
"It's a sad case that people would stoop so low to take things that belong to loved ones, especially those who are deceased," Carroll County sheriff's office investigator Ashley Hulsey said.
Investigators say the two former cemetery workers, Brent McAdams and Anna Millwood, swiped the engraved bronze memorials over the course of several months.
They say the couple brought them to a recycling center in small batches and showed the business license for the cemetery.
"They made fraudulent paperwork that they gave to the recycling center, say they had permission from the company that they were employee at to sell and have those items melted down," Hulsey said.
"For them to do this to us, and the families we serve, is truly, truly sad," Meadowbrook Memory Garden owner Ellen Wynn McBrayer said.
McBrayer said she became suspicious of the couple, when she discovered a number of bronze memorials were missing from a storage area.
In all, the stolen markers were worth an estimated $300,000.
Sheriff's office officials estimate they received about $7,200 for them in return.
In a search of the couple's home, investigators found dozens of glass and stone gravesite figurines, which they say were also stolen from a storage area. They had been removed for grass cutting.
"We are heartbroken and saddened. We are going to pray for the people who did this. They need a lot of prayer," McBrayer said.
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