Cemeteries are places of loss and remembrance. When a gravestone marks the passing of a child, the feeling of grief is compounded and even more imaginable when the stone is marked with the words 'brutally murdered.'

That's the case with a tombstone at Bly Cemetery in Marcellus, a quiet farming community in Cass County, in the southwest corner of the state between Kalamazoo and Dowagiac.

Shared to the Abandoned Old and Interesting Places in Michigan Facebook group, the stone is placed to mark the resting spot of a girl who died in May of 1868 aged 6 years and 22 days. The stone also bears the words 'Brutally Murdered.'

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The Story behind the Stone of the 'Brutally Murdered' Girl

A Marcellus area historian was able to find an incident in the local newspapers from 1868 that referred to a child who was assaulted and murdered by a neighbor.

Find a Grave has an entry on this plot with a photo showing the marker in a clean, if weathered, condition.

The young girl buried there is Anna Weltha Lee, the daughter of Sally and Joseph Lee. Both of Anna's parents as well as 5 of her seven siblings are also buried at Bly cemetery in Marcellus. Two other siblings are buried nearby in Schoolcraft and Kalamazoo.

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