Sheriff’s department investigates headstones found under bridge

The Hickman County Sheriff’s Office has started an investigation to find out how pieces of headstones got under a bridge on Highway 307 near Clinton, Kentucky. The headstones date back to the 1800s.
Norma Gene Humphreys’ passion is reading through books full of history.

"You find lots of things you don’t think you will, but you do. You find lot a of things," Humphreys said.

Humphreys is a member of the Hickman County Historical Society. She’s also helping the sheriff’s department find some answers in a new investigation.

"I think it’s because someone destroyed a cemetery and took the things and threw them away," Humphreys said.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says earlier this week an inspector found pieces of headstones under a bridge, because the water was lower than normal because of dredging. Deputy Dennis McDaniel decided to start an investigation into the discovery. 

"(Because of) the close proximity of the bridge, it’s a possibility they were dropped off the bridge, but our big thing is the time factor of when," McDaniel said.

The names on the headstones are providing some answers: 15-year-old Alfred Chambers, William Griffin and John Morris. They were all buried before 1870. 

"I looked at the books, and those were the ones there," Humphreys said. She tracked them back to the Ousley Cemetery. 

Records show the cemetery the headstones came from is  a half mile east of Clinton, on Hilliard Road. When you look it up on a map, that road is no longer there.

"I don’t know. We can’t find out where it was," Humphreys said.

For now, the investigation is focused on finding living relatives of the the names on the headstones as deputies try to piece together answers.

McDaniel has no suspects at this time. If it turns out someone is responsible for this, they could face charges including violating a venerated object, criminal mischief and vandalism.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says it doesn’t know don’t know how many headstones are under the bridge. On Tuesday, the sheriff’s department will start to recover the pieces.

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