LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- While families devastated by death attended funerals, thieves hit their homes, and police say they have tracked down what they call "pathetic" criminals.

Police say the thieves left a trail that was easy to follow, and quickly realized the burglars had done it before.

"It's pathetic that people actually have to stoop to that level especially when a family's in time of mourning, basically kicking someone while they're down," said MTPR Norman Chaffins.

Police usually do not let their emotions surface, but this case, frankly, made them angry. "The last words Christian said were, 'will you please tell my family that I love them,'" Cindy Higdon said, through tears, and a shaky voice.

Cindy and Dennis Higdon's son, Christian, was violently murdered--police say Jamie Wagers beat him in the head with a hatchet. While at his funeral, their home in Grayson County was burglarized. "It's bad enough someone would break into a house," said but when they'd break into a house where someone's attending a funeral, already in a mourning process, it makes it much worse. alot of times our emotions run high," said Detective Ryan Johnson.

Police quickly connected the crime to this home in Sonora, Kentucky. A woman was attending her husband's funeral when her home was broken into. Detectives realized their suspects were likely skimming through obituataries. In both cases, police say the burglaries happened in rural settings where the homes are far from the road. Because of this, some neighbors have decided to start a watch where they lookout for their neighbors while they are at funerals.

The criminals left a trail at local pawn shops. "One of the items that we recovered had a serial number on it," said Chaffins, adding that the trail unraveled from there.

Everything pointed to three men, all in their 40s. Michael Acord, James Parrett, and Timothy Terry.

Parrett was found with meth on him, a motivation, police say, for the thefts. Many of the stolen items--guns, jewelry, and computers, have been recovered, a relief to grieving families. "They were just very excited, they couldn't believe it, they said they didn't imagine seeing these items again, and didn't imagine actually catching the person," said Johnson.

All three men are in jail on various charges, like receiving stolen property. Police expect to charge them soon with the burglaries of these homes, and possibly other "regular" burglaries. Police will also investigate whether there could be more people involved.

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