‘This is horrible’: Multiple headstones damaged at cemetery
HAMPTON TWP., Mich. (WNEM) - The Hampton Township Public Safety Department is looking for someone who damaged headstones at St. Patrick’s Cemetery on Ridge Road.
“It’s pretty disheartening,” said Steve Aikens.
Aikens was speaking about headstones that were pushed over or broken earlier this week at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Hampton Township. Police believe the damage occurred between 7:45 a.m. Monday, May 29, and 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 30. Numerous headstones were damaged.
“There’s really old stones in here, and these people that do this, I don’t think they understand the volume of how much damage they’ve done,” Aikens said.
He has done lawn maintenance at the cemetery for years and he said he takes this damage personally.
“There’s family out here still that come to see their family members. This is horrible,” he said.
Hampton Township Police Chief Bryan Benchley said the investigation into this incident is ongoing.
“It takes a community to get to the bottom of some of these crimes and this is definitely one of them,” Benchley said.
However, Benchley said investigators may have caught a big break in the case.
“We were able to recover something from the scene that we believed they probably used, and we’re going to send that into the lab for DNA testing,” Benchley said.
He said he will request malicious destruction of property charges against whoever did this. The dollar amount of damage will determine whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor.
In the meantime, Aikens is trying to wrap his head around why someone would find joy in vandalizing headstones.
“You can’t be in your right mind to come in here and do this when some of these stones are dated to the 1800s. That’s horrific. A lot of history in here. They should be caught and punished for this, and hopefully they are,” he said.
In a statement to TV5, Alice Lefevre, Director of Cemeteries, Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Saginaw said:
We were saddened to learn of the extensive vandalism at Old St. Patrick Cemetery. Approximately 40 monuments were damaged or destroyed. Our hearts go out especially to the families hurt by the desecration of their loved ones’ final resting places. This is a tragedy for our community and our local history. If anyone wishes to offer help, please reach out to Alice Lefevre, Director of Cemeteries, Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Saginaw at 989-797-6672 or email@example.com.
If anyone has any information on suspects or possibly witnessed any suspicious activity during the time frame, contact the Hampton Township Public Safety Department at 989-892-0571.
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