Delaware County investigators looking for family of World War II vet

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Investigators in Delaware County are asking for your help in tracking down the family of a deceased soldier.

A grave marker U.S Army Sgt. David D. Gray was found lying on the side of the road in the northeastern part of the county. Now, investigators are trying to get it back to its rightful owners.

Investigator Jeff Stanley says a man found the marker on Tuesday and originally brought it to the attention of a nearby cemetery. When the cemetery didn’t know who it belonged to, he brought it to the sheriff’s department.

“So now we’re trying to track down the owner of it,” Stanley said.

So far the process of tracking down the details of David D. Gray haven’t been easy.

The marker reads that Gray was born on December 30th 1911, and died on September 27th 1993.

There is a state of Indiana death certificate for a David Gray born on the same day, but the middle initial is C. instead of D.

The cemetery that the certificate lists as the burial site has also been difficult to locate.

“Now we’re reverting to social media; we’re reverting to the public to try and get this back where it belongs,” Stanley said.

Stanley says so far the social media response has been great, but there are still no definitive answers

Nate Jones, the Delaware County Veterans Affairs officer, says unfortunately this particular case may be an example of grave vandalism. Because the marker is large and made of bronze or copper, it’s not exactly a far-fetched explanation.

Jones says that’s all the more reason to return this marker to its rightful place.

“When somebody serves our country, they deserve the honor and respect of being recognized...for that military recognition to be lying on the side of the street somewhere is kind of concerning,” he said.

Jeff Stanley believes investigators may have found a lead in Blackford County, but is currently waiting for confirmation. He says he’s working with the county and the historical society to help track it down.

“It belongs with him, it belongs with his family, and it belongs on his burial site,” He said.

Investigators say they still want to know how the marker ended up on a county road; if you have any information at all they’re asking you to contact them. You can also contact Jeff Stanley at 765-747-7885

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