A Defendant's Mom Apologizes For Urn Thefts At Cemeteries

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

A mother of one of the five men police believe are responsible for taking approximately 1,000 brass urns from gravestones at local cemeteries apologizes for him.

She is also a relative to three of the other men.

Cindy Harradon says she is sorry for the families who have been punished because of their heartless actions.

Many are questioning if there is even a punishment fit for what these five men are accused of --- stealing from the dead.

Harradon says, “I told them, how would you feel if it were your grandparents or children?"

She says she is disgusted at the idea of these five men, one of them her 20-year-old son William McDaniel, going to local cemeteries like Riverview and Highland and swiping these bronze urns from gravesites and bringing them to scrappers.

Harradon says, “It was easy money. We have a family friend who bragged to my son about it.”

With Crime Stoppers tips and names on receipts at local steel companies like Sturgis Iron where police say they went to pawn the brass, officers were able to track down the men.

We asked if they showed remorse, and she says, “My son did.”

But Harradon says the damage is done.

Now, families like the Gonzales' are paying the price.

They just buried a relative and have four others at Highland Cemetery.

Out of fear, they did not know what to put at the cemetery other than flowers.

Juanita says, “My sister-in-law heard about these men and said it's not worth it ... it just makes you mad.”

Harradon says, “I am so sorry they were not able to do something like that. It's sad.”

Harradon also apologizes to all of the families who paid about three hundred dollars for one of these urns.

She understands it is not about the money, but the sentimental value.

She says that the men "probably got about two thousand dollars. They get about ten bucks for one.”

Gonzales says, “They're going to pay with God anyway. It's already set.”

The men will be in court tomorrow.

Each faces ten counts of theft and up to 30 years in prison.

Besides William McDaniel, the other men are Robert Carlton-Brown, Billy Joe McDaniel, Michael McDaniel and Daniel Pennington.

South Bend Police say, unfortunately, almost all of the urns have been processed and shipped out.

They have only four at the police station being used as evidence.

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