A US farmer disguised himself as a woman to sneak into a cemetery and deface the grave of his long-time nemesis

Business Insider US
Tombstones in a cemetery.
  • Joseph Stroud, 78, was charged with defacing objects of public respect after the family of Fred McKinney found dead animals on his grave multiple times between May and July.
  • According to a probable cause report seen by Insider and first reported on by KNWA, police say Stroud disguised himself as a woman and visited McKinney's grave to drop off dead animals.
  • McKinney's granddaughter told police that McKinney and Stroud were neighbors who "never got along with each other."
  • Stroud has denied all involvement.
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A farmer in Arkansas has been arrested after he was accused of defacing the grave of his former neighbor and long-time nemesis with animal carcasses.

Joseph Stroud, 78, disguised himself as a woman when he visited the grave of Fred McKinney in Benton County, Arkansas, just north of Fayetteville, according to a probable cause report reviewed by Insider and first reported on by KNWA.

McKinney's granddaughter, Shannon Nobles, told police she first started finding dead animals in May. By July, when the family reported the incidents, 16 dead animals had been found at the grave.

"At first, they thought it was just a coincidence and thought maybe the animals were consuming the fake floral and dying. When they began finding more dead animals, they realized it wasn't just a coincidence, someone was placing the dead animals there purposefully," prosecutors said of Nobles' family in the probable cause report said.

The family eventually put cameras up near McKinney's grave with the cemetery's permission, and eventually recorded someone walking to the grave wearing a teal windbreaker, a women's wig, and sunglasses. Police say the suspect is Stroud.

When police from the Pea Ridge Police Department visited Stroud's home on August 6, they found a blood-soaked towel in his 2018 Dodge Journey, according to the probable cause report.

Stroud was arrested and charged with defacing objects of public respect, a Class B felony, and has since been released. He has denied all involvement in the crime.

Nobles told police that Stroud and her grandfather shared a land boundary for several years.

"Joseph and Fred never got along with each other and there was even a lawsuit between them she thought Joseph [Stroud] had lost," according to the probable cause report.

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