Local family heartbroken over cross missing from cemetery


"He was my boy"

Karen Hill describes her late son Zachary as kind and smart - a 27-year-old man who loved his family, and his motorcycle. But in 2009, Zachary Hill was hit by a car on his motorcycle - he didn't survive the accident.

"At the time, he was just married five days, and Lauren was pregnant," Karen said.

Zachary and his wife Lauren's daughter was born shortly after his untimely death. Karen Hill says the eight year old is just like her father.

"We make sure she knows about him, she calls him daddy Zachary."

Almost two years ago, Zachary's daughter left a cross on his gravesite - with messages like I love you, 'I have your eyes', and 'you are my hero'.

"She took her emotions and put them into words and put those words into a cross."

But on Sunday, Karen's heart sunk.

"Mother's Day, when I came up as I have been for the last nine years, it was gone."

Her first thought was that someone stole it.

"Why something so dear and precious? Why something a little girl has poured her heart out on? Not fair," she said. "It's just not fair."

Karen says she searched the woods near the grave but found nothing.

Oakwood Cemetery shared the photo of the missing cross to its Facebook page and is asking for help.

And Karen Hill says all she asks for is its safe return, for the small piece of Zachary she and her family still have.

"Please bring it back, no questions asked, just bring it back so that when this little girl comes to visit again, it'll be there. And her heart won't be broken again."

The wooden cross has a picture of Zachary on it, and anyone who may see it is asked to contact the Oakwood Cemetery office.

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