Statue stolen from soldier's grave

January 19, 2009 5:31:35 PM PST
A way of honoring a fallen soldier that turned out to be exactly what thieves were after in Brazoria County. A bronze monument was stolen right off a grave in the Gulf Prairie Cemetery. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The grave of Cody Ford is flanked by flags, covered with keepsakes and adorned with evidence of the soldier's dedication to his country. It's what's no longer here that's resurrected grief Philip Ford thought he'd somewhat buried along with his son.

"I didn't know somebody hated him that much," Philip said.

Authorities say someone stole a memorial from atop the grave sometime within the last few days. It was a tribute Philip Ford built two years ago after his son was killed in action. Army Specialist Cody Ford was two months into his first tour of duty in Iraq when an improvised explosive device blew up the Humvee he was in.

Phillip explained the memorial was a way to honor his son, who'd wanted to be a soldier since age seven. Cody's father says he had the memorial made out of his son's boots and his favorite rifle. He had the boots filled with concrete and the whole thing bronzed. It weighed well over 300 pounds.

"Three people couldn't pick it up," he said.

Ford figures someone had to back a pickup truck up to the grave to slide the memorial off its platform. He just wants the memorial returned. Though he says it cost about $5,000 to create, he says the bronze isn't worth much. What it means to Cody's family can't be quantified. The thief even stole Ford's dog tags.

"They ain't got a clue," Philip said. "They ain't got a clue about any respect for these soldiers."

The Brazoria County Sheriff's Office is working this case, looking for whoever is responsible for the theft. If you have any information, you can contact them at 979-864-2392.

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