Family wants answers after flowers stolen from grave

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

JOHNSTON CITY, IL (KFVS) - Police and a number of families in town want to know who is stealing flowers at the Lakeview Cemetery.

"Who would be so low to steal flowers from the dead," asks Virginia Burton.

Her husband's grave site was just one of the ones pilfered by the thief.

"We've had ten complaints come in from different families," said Assistant Chief Marcus Reed with the Johnston City Police Department.

"All of the victims stated that their flowers had been stolen from their grave sites. Our first complaint came in a little before Memorial Day."

The Spiller family and the Burton Family are two of those families trying to cope with their loved ones grave site being the target of the thief.

"We had saddles and baskets on my great-grandmother and my grandmother's graves. And they were both stolen twice.

The police have issued an arrest warrant for 52-year-old Betty Nelson-Davis of Johnston City in connection to the flowers being stolen at Lakeview Cemetery.

And she is also the neighbor of the Spiller family. They found two of their families flower arrangements inside her home, after she had offered to trade them the arrangements for some mowing she wanted done on her property.

"We recovered them the first time and we put them back on our grave sites. And they were stolen again this past Tuesday, June 22nd.

Police say other family grave sites also had flowers stolen from them around the same time.

"So I came out here and sure enough my husband's flowers were stolen," said Virginia Burton.

"They even cut the wires that I had holding them in place. And I was just appalled to think, who would do something like this?"

And now the Spiller's and the Burton's have a few words for the flower thief.

"What can make you do something like that? How can you go that low? How can you steal from the dead, who can't even defend themselves," Anthony said.

"You belong in jail lady. You belong in jail. You don't steal from the dead. They're our loved ones, we still cherish them," Virginia said.

Police describe Betty Nelson-Davis as a white woman, who is 5' 7" tall and weighing around 130 pounds, with blonde hair and green eyes. If you know the whereabouts of Nelson_Davis your asked to call the Johnston City Police Department at 618-983-5888.

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