GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – A Guthrie man and his family are searching for answers in a Memorial Day mystery, after finding a military headstone on the side of a rural highway.
The family is now trying to track down who purchased the special headstone and where it was heading.
“We have not found anybody who has ordered the stone or knows where this stone may go,” said James Graham.
“I think it’s amazing,” said Wendi Graham. “It belongs somewhere, definitely not in my backyard.”
James and Wendi Graham said they made the discovery on Mother’s Day, while driving along Highway 105 and Westminister in Guthrie.
“It looked like it had dropped out of the back of a pickup truck, or something, and came sliding to a halt,” said James. “As I flipped it over, that’s when I realized that it was a headstone.”
Realizing they were not at the stone’s intended final resting site, the Grahams loaded it up, took it home, and started their research on Staff Sgt. Robert Eugene Luttrell.
“He served four years in the military in the Air Force. When he came back, he moved out to Weatherford and became a dentist,” said James. “He didn’t have anybody, but his ex-wife has extended family, and she passed in 2013.”
Coming from military backgrounds themselves, the Grahams said they felt an instant connection to Luttrell.
James and Wendi said they took to internet databases and uncovered Luttrell was 32-years-old when he died, after a train versus car crash, and laid to rest in Sayre. However, the headstone the Grahams found is different than Luttrell’s family headstone.
“We have been in contact with somebody at the [Department of Defense] that confirmed it is a military headstone,” said James. “The cross with the circle is very military and no punctuation is a typical military headstone.”
Graham said he covered all his bases and reached out to the DoD, Tinker Air Force Base, the VFW, and even private investigators in Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas.
“They have all reached out to people that may know or have extended relatives to Robert,” said James.
However, all those roads have led to dead ends.
Now, the Grahams hope someone will see this story and have the answers.
“This is the last bit of his legacy. We want to get it home for him. Hopefully, somebody can help us,” said James.
The Grahams said they’ve been in contact with Sayre city officials who confirm the headstone doesn’t belong in the local cemetery. However, if the family can’t figure out where the headstone is supposed to go, the city will lay it at Luttrell’s burial site.