WWII veteran’s grave marker mysteriously found near railroad tracks

Posted at 9:49 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 23:49:27-04

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Community members and Alabama authorities are working to find out how a World War II veteran's grave marker wound up beside some railroad tracks, and where it belongs.

The memorial plaque was found during railroad work near downtown Hunsville.

The person who found it posted a photo to Facebook noting that it was a marker for a World War II veteran – Army Private "Bennie L White" – and commenters went to work trying to find where the marker belonged.

"It's a good feeling to know that we're that type of community and we have people that care so deeply that they go to the extent they do to try to help us locate where this marker supposed to be at," said Lt. Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office took the marker in as evidence.

"We have an investigator that is assigned to try to locate the grave that the plaque was removed from," Shaw said.  "Unfortunately (we) have people that steal precious metals, copper and other metals, from the gravesites."

It's common for these thieves to sell these metals to scrap yards or pawn shops, but officials don't think this is the case in this situation.

As far as how it ended up at the railroad tracks-- that may always remain a mystery.

"We don't believe the plaque came from a grave in Huntsville, or Madison County or the surrounding areas," Shaw said. "It's possible that this marker may have come from a location in Ohio. We're working with Berryhill Funeral Home to do some things to verify that."

Once the Madison County Sheriff's Office does find where it belongs they'll work with veterans services to get it back to its rightful resting spot.