A Cayman Islands family is distraught over the apparent theft of a tiny angel figurine from South Sound Cemetery.
Recently, the Hurlstons discovered a small porcelain angel is missing from the gravesite of Julie Hurlston. Ms Hurlston, who had Down syndrome, lived at home with her parents in South Sound for her entire life of 54 years until she died in October 2010.
“She never grew up,” Ms Hurlston’s sister Judy said. “She always remained a little girl.”
Her parents, now in their 70s and 80s, had to take care of Julie as if she had been a young child, bathing her, clothing her and making sure she was never alone.
“They said they had a baby for 54 years,” Judy said.
When Julie died after a stroke, Judy told her parents that she was going to buy the red, white and gold Goebel Angel, called “Evening Star”, to watch over Julie’s grave.
“I told them I have to get her something special. She taught us so much. My parents were so sad when she died. They loved her so much,” Judy said.
Her parents told her not to put the angel out there because somebody might steal it, but Judy said she didn’t think anyone would take it because they would, of course, realise how important it was.
In addition to Julie, Judy has two brothers who live in Cayman, a sister who lives in Cayman and a sister who lives in Texas. One of her brothers was passing by the cemetery when he noticed the figurine was missing from Julie’s gravesite, which is near the road. They later found the stand for the figurine laying on the ground, as if someone had tossed it aside on their way out of the cemetery.
“I cannot believe that somebody would be so heartless,” Judy said. “And for what?”
The family doesn’t expect to ever see the angel again, but Judy wants the person responsible for the disappearance of the figurine to be aware of the harm they’ve caused.
An official with the Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Unit, which is responsible for the maintenance of public facilities, said he has never heard complaints from people about objects missing from gravesites.
Judy suspects this has happened before, but people haven’t come forward to report it. She has replaced Julie’s original angel with a small white Rosenthal angel figurine.
“I want somebody to know what a special little person she was,” Judy said.