News 12 at 11 / Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- An angel light decorates the side of Wheeler road to remember a life lost in that very place.
"I said I would decorate it because I can't buy him a birthday present. I can't buy him Easter baskets anymore, so I just go out there and continue decorating it for him," mother Trish Wilcher said.
Kyle Loungeway was killed in a car accident in 2010, just two months before his first wedding anniversary and before his child was born. Now a festive roadside memorial is how his family and friends remember him.
"It's just been something that brings everybody together, even if we might not all agree or get along," widow Carly Loungeway said.
It hasn't always looked as put together as it does tonight. The family says the memorial has been vandalized three times.
"There was trash everywhere. Blue flowers were all over the place," Wilcher remembers.
"To see that happen over and over again is so upsetting," admitted Loungeway.
Two of the times solar lights placed at the memorial were stolen.
"Why would you steal anything?" Loungeway asked. "That just seems so hateful and ugly."
"Just leave it alone," begged Kyle's mother. "Do they need solar lights? I'll buy them solar lights."
It was a cruel act that left the family wondering 'who' and 'why?' Now they're getting closer to answering one of those questions. A church across the street caught the thieves in the act on surveillance cameras.
In the video you can see two trucks pull up. As the minutes go by, you watch a shadowy figure walk to the memorial and then walk to the back of the truck, eventually driving away.
"This hurts a lot of people," Loungeway explained. "Just please stop. And if you're not going to stop, there will be charges brought against you."
It rang as a warning for the vandals and a promise to a memorial that lives on for a husband, father, and a son.
The family did file a report on the theft. Police also have the video we showed you and are investigating who it could be.