ARANSAS PASS, Texas — What was meant to mark someone's final resting place now rests in the back of Aransas Pass Police Chief Eric Blanchard's pickup truck.
He put that headstone there after finding it illegally dumped among trash just off of East Beasley Avenue, an area just within the city limits that prone to illegal dumping.
"It’s the most unique illegally dumped trash — if you call it that," Blanchard said. "I wouldn’t refer to it as trash."
The police department posted pictures of the headstone on its Facebook page.
Quickly, what Blanchard calls "good information" about who dumped it, started coming in.
He encourages that person to come to the police station to explain the situation or risk arrest for illegal dumping.
"Fella — you know who you are -- come see me, or I’ll come see you,” Blanchard said.
If an arrest is made and charges filed, they could be enhanced because of how heavy the headstone is.
Blanchard says the severity of illegal dumping charges factors in the weight of the items dumped.
And if it's determined the headstone was actually removed from a cemetery, the suspect could also face desecration of a grave charges -- though Blanchard doesn't expect those.
“With the information right now that I've received, I don’t believe that to be the case," he said. "But I do need a more solid explanation as to how this person or these people came about this stone.”
Another possible explanation is that there was a misprint in the etchings on the headstone, and it ended up getting discarded because of it.
No matter how the illegal dumper got the headstone, the fact that he or she dumped it fuels Blanchard's desire for answers.
“It’s very sad to see it just thrown by the wayside," he said. "You might as well have thrown the body out there on the side of the road. I mean, it’s basically along the same level as that."