• Pastor’s grave dug up, burned
    The grave of the Rev. L.B. Perry, in Shady Grove Cemetery, a few miles east of Kosse, was discovered Monday, Aug. 3, to have been desecrated: – flowers thrown aside, the dirt above the vault removed and something burned on top of the vault. The temporar

Pastor’s grave dug up, burned

Limestone County Sheriff’s Office investigators are trying to determine why someone would dig up a pastor’s grave and then set a fire on the burial vault holding his casket.

The Rev. L.B. Perry passed away March 25 of this year at the age of 79 and was buried April 4 in Shady Grove Cemetery, east of Kosse.

The grave was discovered by family members to have been disturbed Monday morning, Aug. 3. Flowers on the grave had been thrown aside, the dirt had been removed down to the metal vault, and something was then burned on top of the vault, possibly a plastic spray of flowers.

Burnett Wallace, of Coolidge, a distant cousin of Perry, said he was called by the LCSO early Monday afternoon about the matter.

“From what we know right now,” Wallace said, “somebody went out there in the wee hours of the night, dug up his grave and got down to the metal vault the casket is sitting in. They didn’t get it open, and apparently tried to set a fire on top of it, maybe thinking that would trip it into opening, but they couldn’t get into it.

“So it’s an active investigation,” he continued. “The Sheriff’s Office hasn’t let us cover it up or do anything with it yet. They said the way the temporary marker was thrown to the other side of the grave and flowers that had been on his grave were kicked around, it looks like it maybe was done out of anger. They contacted the funeral home director, and (found) he wasn’t buried with any substantial jewelry or anything really gaudy or flashy, so they don’t think it was a robbery intent.”

The desecration of the grave could have happened either Sunday night or Saturday, he speculated.

As far as the family knows, there was nothing controversial about Perry.

“He was just a typical small-town Baptist preacher,” Wallace said. “Always helped out in the community, always participated in food (drives), anything that was charity driven, that he was a part of or helped initiate. So we’re at a loss for this, unless it was just somebody that has a real bad grudge about something.”

According to Perry’s obituary, he pastored Greater Antioch Baptist Church for 31 years and also served on the Kosse City Council.

Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson said the grave seemed to have been targeted rather than randomly attacked, since no other graves appeared to be disturbed.

“We’re currently working on it,” Wilson said, referring to the case. “I knew Rev. Perry well. He was a very good man in my opinion. It’s very heart-breaking to see somebody go down there and be disrespectful and do what they did to his gravesite.”

Wilson said Crime Stoppers would offer a reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. Crime Stoppers may be called at 254-729-8477; callers may remain anonymous.

Groesbeck Journal

P.O. Box 440
Groesbeck, TX 76642
Phone: 254-729-5103
Fax: 254-729-0362