VA investigation: State cemetery worker stole veteran gravestones

A former state cemetery worker stole the gravestones of over 150 veterans to use as flooring material in his carports. Kevin Maynard of Charlestown, Rhode Island, was tasked with removing broken veteran gravestones and driving them to a facility to be destroyed. Many of those gravestones never made it there.

When headstones on the graves of fallen servicemen crack or fade with age, they’re hauled away to be honorably destroyed. Then the Department of Veterans Affairs replaces them.

An agent from the Department of Veteran Affairs, as well as state police, began their investigation into the former Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery employee in April. Authorities were tipped-off by Maynard’s co-workers.

A federal search warrant affidavit stated Maynard “bragged” to co-workers about taking the headstones, and admitted to investigators that he knew the law called for grinding up the granite to protect the dignity of the veterans whose names are on the markers.

Maynard initially told investigators he had taken about 40 gravestones. That number quickly reached over 150 when police searched his property.

During a court appearance this week Maynard pleaded not guilty to theft of government property.

[Washington Post] [WPRI ] [Image via handout from US District Court]