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Mysterious digging in Casey cemetery raises questions

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By Vicki Stevens

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and Larry Rowell

news@caseynews.net

 

Some mysterious digging at a remote cemetery in Casey County has left a stillborn baby’s grave disturbed and a large empty hole nearby.

The digging, which apparently has happened on two occasions, has family members like Haskel Murphy Jr., whose mother and other relatives are buried at Murphy Cemetery off Shugars Hill Road, scratching their heads wondering why.

Authorities first became aware of the digging the night of Aug. 12 when Deputy Sheriff Geoffrey Brown was dispatched to the graveyard about 1:30 a.m. at the request of the caretaker.

Brown said two women and two men who were sleeping in a vehicle told him they had permission to dig a grave for a stillborn baby that is a sibling to one already buried there. They said they had been digging during the day and were going to resume digging the next day.

Liberty police officer Kerry Patton was dispatched to the cemetery as backup to Brown because the group had a gun in their possession. Brown said officers took the people’s names and information but made no arrests because they purportedly had permission from the caretaker and another Murphy family member to be there.

This past weekend, apparently more digging was done by someone, leaving a large open hole.

Deputy Chad G. Weddle said he learned of the latest incident Sunday afternoon from Robby Murphy, a family member who also is a county magistrate.

Boyd Brown, former owner of McKinney-Brown Funeral Home, said he was aware of the situation at Murphy Cemetery. His wife, Judy, is a Murphy and many of her relatives are buried there, including her mother.

As to the hole that was dug twice and the sunken infant’s grave near the hole, Brown said he doesn’t understand everything that has happened out there.

When asked if he thinks there’s a coffin in the infant’s grave, Brown said there should be.

“We buried that baby 14 years ago. We, the funeral home, didn’t dig the grave; a cousin who had the backhoe dug the grave. But I was out there when the child was buried.”