‘We’re happy. We’re blessed’: Family relieved to have stolen headstone returned

Marble marker stolen from Larry Alvarez-Perez’s grave in Elmendorf

SAN ANTONIO – A local family is resting a bit easier now that a stolen headstone has been returned to the gravesite of a loved one.

As KSAT 12 previously reported, Ann Martinez and her relatives first noticed last Thursday that the marble marker was missing from her 18-year-old nephew’s grave at Elmendorf City Cemetery.

Nearly one week after the headstone disappeared, the family received word that it had been found.

“We’re happy, we’re blessed, we’re thankful,” Martinez said. “But whoever turned it in, if they could come forward so we can personally thank them.”

Larry Alvarez-Perez, 18, was shot dead in San Antonio in December 2020. (KSAT 12 News)

The news came in an email Wednesday morning from Elmendorf police.

Martinez said an investigator told her that a passerby found the headstone a couple of miles from the cemetery, in a grassy area near Loop 1604.

Police told KSAT 12 News that the grass had been freshly mowed.

Authorities said it’s possible the headstone could have been there the whole time, covered by the overgrown grass.

Relatives went out for a firsthand look at the area near Loop 1604 where the stolen headstone was found. (KSAT 12 News)

“Why did they just leave it off on the side of the road? Why couldn’t they just leave it alone in the first place?” Martinez wondered.

However, those are just a few of the many questions she still has.

She said that knowing who was behind the theft was a top priority for her and her family.

Police said although they are still investigating, they were not able to collect any fingerprints.

“It’s a heavy item. Somebody had to have picked it up. I don’t think they would’ve picked it up with gloves,” Martinez said.

While police have not identified any suspects, Martinez has her suspicions.

She believes the theft, as well as several other acts of vandalism at the grave, are somehow tied to her nephew’s death.

Larry Alvarez Perez was killed in December 2020 after exchanging gunfire with someone else in San Antonio, according to authorities.

For now, though, the family is focusing on putting things back together at the gravesite.

Police helped them carry the heavy stone back to its resting place Wednesday morning.

Martinez was able to point out a few areas on it that were damaged during the theft.

She said relatives will work on making the repairs.

Having the headstone back, she said, is already helping to heal their broken hearts.

“It’s the grave we know. It’s the grave we come to visit. It’s not a missing piece now,” Martinez said.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

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