Michael D. May was at the Pilot Baptist churchyard in Eubank around 10:30 p.m. when authorities say a Lincoln County sheriff’s constable spotted his pickup truck. When the officer pulled into the property, he allegedly found the 44-year-old suspect with a shovel and pickaxe, digging at the burial plot of his old man, who died 30 years ago.
The constable immediately called for backup. He and three officers handcuffed May, but not before the suspect allegedly cracked into six inches of hardened earth, according to authorities. A roughly 2-by-3-foot swath of soil was removed, police told The Daily Beast.
“We arrest him, actually, for public intoxication … and he told [the deputies] he was going to dig his dad up to argue with him,” Lincoln County sheriff Curt Folger said. “It’s crazy … I thought, ‘What the hell?’”
“He was pretty messed up,” Folger added.
Greg Haynes, the pastor of Pilot Baptist Church, said he witnessed May’s bid to reconcile the rift that apparently went to the grave with May’s father. May told cops he wanted to make sure his dad’s eternal fate was sealed, Haynes said.
“He said, ‘Daddy didn’t do things right, and I need to dig him up and get him into heaven.’ I said, ‘After 30 years, you’re a little late on that,’” Haynes told The Daily Beast.
“You don’t just go digging up your daddy’s grave,” Haynes added. “You just don’t. I ain’t heard of it.”
Church treasurer Lewis Johnson, who said he knows the May family, said the suspect’s father was beaten to death at a sawmill after drinking with coworkers.
May was charged with public intoxication of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and violating graves. He’s at the Lincoln County jail, where one jailer said, “He’s a little out of it, so it could be a while” before he’s released.
A police report indicates May had a “clear baggy” on him, along with a “leafy substance.” He was slurring his speech, the citation says.
The day of his arrest, May gave one possible warning of his dead-end plan, writing “fair thee well” on social media. He also posted pictures of notebooks scribbled with what appears to be religious poetry.
His relatives did not return messages left for comment.
“The overall circumstances are strange,” Haynes said. “Once we figured what he was doing, that really kinda blew everybody’s mind.”