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Family grave in Odessa cemetery vandalized

Leticia Ramirez is asking that whoever took her statue of the Virgin Mary that was overlooking her son's grave to return it.

ODESSA, Texas — Cemeteries are a final resting place for your loved ones, but one family is upset over what's happened to their son's grave. A statue has been taken from Matthew Ramirez's grave, and the family is simply asking for it to be returned.

Leticia Ramirez, Matthew's mother said that people should not have to worry about vandalism as their loved one's final resting place.

Leticia and her family have always relied on their faith through the good times and bad. When Matthew passed away, she said that it was fitting to have the Virgin Mary watch over him.

"When he was three years old he wore the cutest little I guess like a poncho and it was the day of 'El Dia de Guadalupe' which is in Spanish it’s 'Virgen de Guadalupe' that’s what it’s called. It’s his patron saint and just means a lot to us for her to be there with him," Ramirez said.

She said it was something that they put there to watch over him because it was like putting her own mother there to watch over him. Now that it's gone, the whole family is hurting.

This isn't the first time that the statue has been messed with in some way either. It had been damaged before but not taken.

"They had already vandalized it and taken the corners of the moon off, and then when we went back to put it back, then they took it," Ramirez said.

The biggest issue for Ramirez is that this situation shows a lack of respect not just for her son but also for all of those resting in peace.

"It’s just the time of mourning and stress for us, and we would just like for people to respect our time of privacy you know in order for us to mourn for my son and others," Ramirez said.

The Ector County Cemetery director said that they are aware of the issue and are looking into the situation, but the cemetery is not a perpetual care cemetery. This means that plot owners are solely responsible for the area..

It also means that all responsibility for loss or damage beyond the county's control, which includes theft or vandalism, is on the plot owner.