James Howard had long heard tales that his late Grandmother Emily had been buried with the family jewels, and that got him to thinking: What the hell good does that do HER? Especially when he and his friends needed money NOW? Only one thing to do, he reasoned. Go a-digging.
Authorities in Kentucky say a passerby found Emily Howard’s coffin in Stacy’s Cemetery unearthed and exposed, but still closed – probably because the would-be thieves were unable to unlock it.
“When we got here they had definitely dug the grave up until the top of the vault and everything was exposed,” Martin County Sheriff John Kirk told WYMT News.
Tuesday, police arrested James Howard, 33, of Inez, Kentucky, and his friend Tea Jay Luster, 26, also of Inez.
Police say both men confessed to involvement in the crime. James Howard had told Luster valuables had been interred with his deceased grandmother 15 years ago, although family members dispute that saying the deceased woman was not buried with any jewelry. All that was reportedly buried with her was a porcelain doll and pictures.
But hey- You might be able to get $10 for the doll!
Emily Howard’s grandson-in-law George Jude told WSAZ News that the family was devastated when police said a relative had confessed to the crime.
“They had to be in a bad mindset,” Jude said. “Anybody in their right mind I don’t think would’ve been up there digging out a grave. They put in a lot of work. It’s crazy.”
The distraught relative implied that drugs could be a possible motive.
“The devil’s got so many people blinded with the drugs and the things that nothing will surprise you, they’ll do anything to get what they want,” Jude told WYMT News.
A third suspect, Jennifer Luster, 35, is accused of driving James Howard and Tea Luster to and from the grave. Tea and Jennifer Luster are reportedly husband and wife.
All three suspects have been charged with violating a grave, a felony offense.