A Jacksonville family is pleading with cemetery thieves after decorations were stolen from their daughters grave.
Carmen Jenkins was 11-years-old in 2008.
“She was a real defender of others, there was young lady on the school bus, seemed to be a older student that was being bullied, that she stuck up for her,” said Ellen Jenkins. “I didn’t find this out til a candle lighting ceremony several years later when the young lady had lit a candle for Carmen.”
It was a remembrance candle to honor Carmen’s life after she died in a tragic ATV accident while staying with family.
“I got a phone call saying, with them screaming and hollering, I mean it still echoes in my head, that Carmen wasn’t breathing,” said Jenkins.
It was just five days before Christmas when Carmen passed away and she was laid to rest at Meador Cemetery December 23rd.
The family often visits Carmen’s grave site to spend time, to heal, and to leave behind decorations for her.
“I come out on December 2nd, which is her birthday and we put her Christmas out and it was just a couple of days after I put it out that it was gone,” said Jenkins.
These photos were taken just days apart.
The dangling snowflakes and solar snowmen lights are noticeably missing. And this isn’t the first time, Jenkins tells us decorations have been disappearing for years.
Carmen’s own words are inscribed on the back of her headstone, saying ‘life is grate, all you have to do is forget about the future and move on with the past’, the family says it would be easier to move on with the past if people would let Carmen rest.
“Christmas is hard enough, but to have someone come out here and do this over and over and over again, it’s more than I can handle,” said Jenkins.
And she’s asking for one simple thing from the thieves.
“I don’t understand it, I want whoever did this to just stop, bring it back,” said Jenkins.
It’s a heartfelt plea from a grieving mother, just one week before the 11th anniversary of her daughter’s death.
If you have any information on this, contact the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.