A Grave, Yet Intriguing Discovery

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington

    It's got great sentimental value. It's a notable piece of our nation's past. And it's kind of creepy.

    Out of all the things you might expect to find on a quiet Montgomery County, Md., cul-de-sac, a gravestone belonging to a World War I veteran probably isn't one of them.

    "I was speechless," said homeowner Victoria Marin, about the moment a neighbor told her about a 250-pound tombstone sitting right on her property line in the Springbrook community Thursday. Even worse, the grave marker had been underneath the spot where her neighbor takes out the garbage.

    "At first I was a little freaked out, but then I felt kind of bad," said Marin. "'Cause here's this war veteran, [whom] I thought was buried next to some trash can."

    Fortunately for Marin and Daniel Monillas, whose name is on the stone, there's no body underneath the gravestone. Monillas is in fact interred at New Jersey's Beverly National Cemetery next to his better half.

    Monillas, a U.S. Navy veteran, fought during WWI died in 1968. When his wife, Elizabeth, died several years later, it seems she got a new gravestone with her name on one side and his on the other.

    It's still a mystery as to how Monillas' old gravestone made it all the way down from New Jersey to Maryland. But fortunately most veterans apparently don't get the same treatment after they die -- an official from the Office of Veterans Affairs said the Monillas grave marker case is "inconsistent" with the VA's procedures.

    The VA plans to get the grave marker from Marin's property to dispose of it in the "proper" way.