|Birth: ||Apr. 9, 1974|
|Death: ||Jul. 5, 1990|
Published September 25, 2009 10:22 pm -
Fighting for a lost son: Steve Allgood spent 19 years trying to catch a vandal who targeted his son's grave
EDDYVILLE — The Eddyville cemetery is like a lot of small town cemeteries. AKA: OLD EDDYVILLE CEMETERY
It's quiet, up near the top of a hill with old trees scattered through it. Lichen and moss grow on some older stones. They're trying to get a foothold on Christopher Allgood's headstone, but his father Steve keeps it clean.
Steve is up there just about every day, a pattern he has kept since a drunken driver killed his son in 1990. He remembers speaking to the court at the driver's sentencing. It was his son who was killed. What else could he do?
He thought it would be the last time he would have to fight for his son.
At first he thought it was a random thing. Somebody tore up the flowers he planted around Christopher's grave. Or Steve would show up and the flowerpots would be off the hangers, broken on the ground nearby.
It tore his heart out. He replaced the hanging flowers. He put in brick pavers around the ones he planted to keep them safe. What else could he do?
Cemetery vandalism is not routine, but it's not rare. Most of the time it seems to be random. Someone breaks off a few headstones or tears up decorations without really thinking about whose grave they come from.
This was different. Steve fixed up the grave and the same thing would happen again. It might be a couple weeks later or it might be the next day, but sooner or later he would come up to the cemetery and find the gravesite torn up again.
A stone deer, smashed. The flowers mounted atop the headstone strewn along the road. Close to $3,000 in decorations over the course of 19 years.
Steve kept asking the same thing each time: Why?
"I want to know," he said. "What do you have against me?"
Eddyville straddles the line between Wapello and Mahaska counties. Steve went to the Wapello County Sheriff's Department. He says they told him there wasn't enough evidence to pursue charges.
Finally he met Matt McCain, a deputy in the Mahaska County Sheriff's Department. McCain took a personal interest in what was happening. Steve speaks highly of McCain. You hear the gratitude and affection in his voice.
McCain and Steve started working together to figure out who was vandalizing the grave. It finally worked. They got pictures of the person in the act.
Created by: IRISH EYES ARE SMILING
Record added: Sep 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42420026