Stolen Grave Marker Found at Recycling Center

Maureen Wurtz

COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM)- An Iowa recycling center makes a surprising find, and now police are involved.

Council Bluffs recycling recycles thousands of tons a year. "It's a big compilation of things we get in there," said Shannon Meister.

One thing they don't get too often, or ever, said Meister, is a grave marker.

"He just happened to see that and pull it out," said Meister. "It was luck and excellent work on his part."

Meister said one of her employees found the marker in the 'Construction Demolition Pile' last Thursday.

"He said, 'Shannon, I didn't know what to do with this," said Meister. ""But I thought we shouldn't just let it go to the landfill."

Meister said the only way the grave marker could have gotten there is if the thief dropped it off. "We check every load as it comes in, but that doesn't mean that there's not stuff buried in those loads," said Meister.

Meister turned to the Council Bluffs Police, and now the police are turning to the public.

"Somebody somewhere knows about this, and we'd like to give it back," said Capt. Terry LeMaster.

Police said they've searched local cemeteries and mortuaries, and nothing has turned up. "I have no idea, it could be from outside the metropolitan area," said LeMaster.

All police have is a name, Megan Alaine Kjellberg, and age, six months. She was buried January 2nd, 1986.

LeMaster said he believes the thieves thought the marker was made of copper. "Today's age, we're having thefts, people are stealing things from cemeteries and churches."

The inscription on the marker reads, "Now you have the sun and the stars to play with."

Police hope that the graver marker can rest soon, right where it belongs.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Council Bluffs Police Department at (712)-328-4766.