Warning after angel goes missing from headstone

A Dunedin family is warning others to stay vigilant after a large ornate angel went missing from an almost 100-year-old family headstone in the Anderson's Bay Cemetery.

Deirdre Cooper said the last time she saw the angel on the headstone of the grave of her great-great-grandmother, Ann McKellar, was April 25, Anzac Day, this year.

She noticed it was missing about two weeks ago.

Dunedin woman Deirdre Cooper and her father Peter Duncan with the marble headstone of Mr Duncan’s...
Dunedin woman Deirdre Cooper and her father Peter Duncan with the marble headstone of Mr Duncan’s great-grandmother, from which a large angel has gone missing. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

"We had a look around the cemetery and my son found a finger [from] the angel. It's the desecration of a final resting place."

She suspected someone had stolen the angel with the intention of selling it, Mrs Cooper said.

"I think some people mistakenly think there's a market to sell them to make some quick cash."

Her father, Peter Duncan, said the 1.5m-tall angel would have taken at least two people to move.

The stolen angel
The stolen angel
"It's quite heavy and would've taken a sizeable wallop to dislodge it. It's terrible," he said.

Mrs McKellar was a housekeeper from Naseby, who died in 1924 at the age of 53. Her sister and brother-in-law were buried in the same grave.

A report was lodged with the police, but the lack of video footage or other evidence made it difficult to know what had happened, Mrs Cooper said.

She did not expect the angel to be returned, but was keen to alert people to be vigilant in cemeteries.

Police said inquiries were continuing.

-By Samuel Rillstone


Thieves lacking awareness to make them forever uneasy and fearful.