Tombstone mystery begins to unravel

(WMC-TV) – The mystery into the tombstones dug up in a Memphis man's backyard is beginning to unravel.

Pieces of the puzzle began coming together when one man saw the name of his grandfather, a World War One veteran, on the news.

Bobby Mebane said his grandfather, Luther B. Green, was a fine man, who was a cook in the Army.

"A role model, very good provider, and he and my grandmother never had a cross word. Not to my knowledge," Mebane explained.

His fine character attracted the likes of Mattie Collins, who plays a big role in solving part of this mystery.

After 52 years of marriage, Luther passed away three months before Mattie in 1970.

When Luther passed, he got his own tombstone. When Mattie passed away, they shared a tombstone.

"They get a new tombstone ordered with the same information of the veteran, but with the wife's name on the back," said Mebane.

Mebane acknowledges that the tombstone found buried in a backyard was no longer needed because it did not have Mattie's name on it.

But he cannot imagine how 16, 300-pound tombstones left federal property and made their way to Mid-Town.

As for the man who found the headstones, Jason Blackburn is making it his mission to find the families in which they belong.

"Just the fact the he cared enough to do research on it. I think very highly of him. I'd like to meet him sometime," said Mebane.

When Action News 5 first reported this story on Monday, just 13 headstones had been uncovered. Now, 16 of them have been found.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.