Vandals strike cemetery

Swiss Colony Cemetery in Laurel County is supposed to be a peaceful final resting place for those who've passed away, but lately someone's been disturbing that peace.

"Meanness...just pure vandalism and meanness."

That's how Deputy Gilbert Acciardo describes the type of person who would vandalize tombstones. Over the course of this week, three graves have been knocked over and two of them dragged several yards away. David Wesley is the cemetery's caretaker and says seeing this happen hurts him.

"It's disappointing. If they had a family member there that was buried there, they would maybe have a little different outlook on things," he says.

Deputy Acciardo says he takes vandalism like this very seriously.

"We feel in the law enforcement community that this is one of the most reprehensible crimes that a vandal can do because the dead don't need to be disturbed, they need to be honored. This is very definitely dishonoring their respect," says Acciardo.

So far, no witnesses have come forward. The three graves all have the same last name, but officials say they were chosen at random. Neighbors say the family of the people buried there have mostly moved away, but worry that their own relatives' grave sites could be the next target.

"There's some tombstones there that belong to some of my family and I would've been really disappointed if some of those had been turned over," says Wesley.

Authorities say they may put up surveillance equipment to prevent this from happening again. They believe the damage was the work of two or three people.


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