Vandals cause $40,000 in damages to cemetery - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vandals cause $40,000 in damages to cemetery

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Family members say they can't believe someone could be so low to vandalize the cemetery where their loved ones are laid to rest. Clarksville police say that's exactly what's happened to a cemetery that dates back to the Civil War, and the damage is adding up in the tens of thousands of dollars.

"I just don't know how they could destroy something that's so sentimental and personal to so many people," said Peggy Mullins, of Clarksville.

Mullins has deep ties to Greenwood Cemetery in Clarksville. 

"I visit my parents, my son and my husband," said Mullins.

That's why it's so hurtful to Mullins to find the mausoleum where her aunt is laid to rest damaged by vandals.

"They don't care," said Mullins. "They just don't care. They have no respect for themselves, let alone the people this cemetery belongs to."

Operating trustee of the cemetery Paul Chaaf said someone came onto the property Dec. 1 and knocked over a granite display weighing 6,500 pounds at the mausoleum.

"The latest estimate for the damage is over $40,000," said Chaaf. "We don't have $40,000 just laying around in the checking account."

The damage didn't stop there. Chaaf said vandals returned the next night, toppling several more graves, some of them dating back to the 1800s.

"It had to be more than one person," said Chaaf. "It had to be someone of considerable strength. It's such a deplorable thing. The average person just can't think about something like this. It is a low down, cowardly thing to do."

Greenwood Cemetery is offering a $2,500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the vandals responsible for the damage. 

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