BREMERTON, WA -A man found digging up a grave early Wednesday told police he was trying to recover a gold cross that had been buried with his murdered brother.
The Kitsap Sun reports that Bremerton police were called early Wednesday morning to the Miller Woodlawn cemetery after an employee spotted the man digging up the grave of 30-year-old Hector “Ricky” Apodaca.
When officers arrived, they found the 27-year-old man was sitting in the hole he dug. Officers said he had removed Apodaca's headstone and flung dirt over surrounding headstones. An officer described the hole as two feet wide, two feet deep and eight feet long.
An officer said that the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs; the man told police he had used meth about four hours prior to the incident.
Officers told Apodaca’s brother he couldn’t dig up his brother's grave, but they weren’t sure yet what law he had broken. In the meantime, they told the man he had to leave the cemetery and could not return. He left on his bicycle and went to a nearby motel, where employees said he stole food from a breakfast buffet.
He returned to the cemetery at about 8 a.m. and was arrested. Bremerton city prosecutors charged the man with third-degree malicious mischief and second-degree criminal trespass.
In February 2017, Apodaca was shot multiple times in the head and left on a Seabeck road where his body was later discovered by a passerby. The Kitsap Sun reports that 24-year-old Andrew Phillip Gilbert pleaded guilty to a count of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Gilbert and Apodaca had been using drugs together and Gilbert said he felt threatened by Apodaca, so he shot him.