Emily Howard of Inez, Kentucky passed away in November 2002. For nearly 15 years, her family and friends have been able to visit her grave in Stacy’s Cemetery, located in Martin County.
On July 30, a teenager visiting the cemetery noticed a large hole had been dug next to her headstone. Authorities were called to investigate and found a very disturbing scene. The vault that housed the casket was exposed but remained locked. It appeared that the would-be grave robbers were unable to get to the casket and disturb the remains of Emily Howard.
According to WSAZ, as the investigation began, the local authorities quickly tracked down James Z. Howard, 33-year-old Inez resident, and grandson of the deceased. He and a friend, Tea Jay Luster, 26-year-old Inez resident, both confessed to the eerie crime. The two were planning to rob the grave of any valuables Howard’s grandmother may have been buried with. A third person, 35-year-old Jennifer Luster, was later arrested for her involvement as well. She is reportedly the wife of Tea Jay, and she drove the two men to the cemetery and then back home.
According to the arrest records in the case, Howard had persuaded Luster to help him retrieve his grandmother’s jewelry so they could sell it. The family of Emily Inez has said that the grandmother’s jewelry had been removed prior to burial, however. The only items in her casket with her are a porcelain doll and some photographs. According to her grandson-in-law, George Jude, they feel that drugs may have been a motivator in this crime. He goes on to say that they had to be in a bad state of mind to have done such a thing. Grave robbing is a lowlife move no matter what, but his own grandmother makes it inconceivable. Now the family is left to grieve the disturbance of their loved one as well as come to terms with the callousness of what the three would-be grave robbers have done.
The three criminals have all been charged with felony violating a grave. There is no information available at this time of attorneys who may be representing them.
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