Family: Brass thieves raid NM Marine's gravesite

September 21, 2011 • State News

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico family says thieves have raided the gravesite of a U.S. Marine who served during World War II.

KRQE-TV reports ( ) that Al M[auth] antelli says someone stole an ornate brass vase that was connected by a chain from his father’s resting place in a Roswell cemetery. He said flowers placed at the site in last August were also stolen.

Mantelli says he believes the vase was taken for scrap metal.

Detectives said this case appears random, and are checking local pawn shops to see if the brass vase turns up.

The elder Mantelli had enlisted in the Marines a few months after Pearl Harbor, serving with the 3rd Marine Division in the Pacific and fighting at Iwo Jima and Guam.

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