Historic headstone missing from Henrico cemetery

HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Under a canopy of trees, hidden in the shadows of the undergrowth sits a burial site called East End Cemetery in Henrico.

“Several people that are buried here are significant in Richmond’s history,” said John Shuck, who volunteers at the cemetery.

The headstone marking the final resting place of one Mary Tancil reads, “I am not alone.”

That monument now sits alone in her family burial plot, however, after her father’s stone appears to have been stolen.

“Dr. Richard. F. Tancil, he was a physician. He was also involved here in Civil Rights. He was president of a bank here,” said Shuck.

Shuck volunteers at this seemingly forgotten cemetery, a caretaker of sorts. He says hours of blood sweat and tears have gone into reclaiming this hallowed ground from the raging forest.

“I can’t understand why someone would do it. The stone is not right along the road, wasn’t facing the road, so why would somebody do this?” asked Shuck.

Shuck has no loved ones of his own to mourn here, just a respect for the dead.

“It’s confusing, it’s disappointing,” said Shuck.

Police are now investigating and have learned it was taken sometime between Sunday night and Wednesday afternoon.

Shuck is left researching, hoping to find any descendant of Mr. Tancil to hopefully once again mark the spot where a civil rights leader now rests in peace.

If you have any information pertaining to the whereabouts of the headstone, you are asked to call the Henrico Police Department.

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