gravestone

‘Strange Case': Mystery Surrounds Gravestone Found on Side of Maine Road

By Monday afternoon, some potential descendants of Mary Pratt's had contacted the police department saying they believed it was possible that grave marker had come from the Old Baptist Cemetery in Yarmouth, Maine

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Police in Westbrook, Maine, are trying to figure out why a 19th Century gravestone ended up by itself along a city road and where it came from.

The headstone, which marks the grave of a woman who died in 1840 named Mary Pratt, was discovered by a man driving on Methodist Road around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to Westbrook Police Patrolman Jeremy Smith.

"This is a strange case," said Smith during a Monday interview, explaining that the driver who saw the stone brought it directly to the police department.

Given that the department had limited resources to dedicate to tracing the gravestone back to a cemetery on a weekend, officers put a picture of the marker on Facebook.

The post received hundreds of responses.

"The Facebook post was a great help, we spoke with many possible family members providing us with information," Smith said.

By Monday afternoon, some potential descendants of Pratt's had contacted the police department saying they believed it was possible that grave marker had come from the Old Baptist Cemetery in Yarmouth, Maine.

There are graves with the last name Pratt on them there, as well as graves that date back centuries.

However, because of the cemetery's age, investigators were not immediately sure if the stone actually came from that graveyard.

"It may not be documented like we're used to on a computer system," Smith said, explaining that the Yarmouth Historical Society and potential descendants of Pratt were assisting in making a final determination.

Westbrook police were also in the process of search for signs a grave may have been removed from other public and private cemeteries in the area where the headstone was found.

They were hopeful that location would be determined by Tuesday evening.

The portion of the investigation focused on who moved the stone in the first place was expected to ramp up afterward.

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