Cemetery Vandalism

For more than 100 years, Zion Hill Christian Methodist Episcopal Church's cemetery remained undisturbed and then, "there were several tombstones that had been broken off at the base."

Melvin Wright is a longtime member of the church. He described what was found Sunday morning upon church members’ arrival. In all, six headstones had been overturned, but that wasn't all. When one of the church members checked the mailbox Sunday she could see much more than just mail. Instead, she found the mailbox slightly opened and inside it was a dead cat.

"This was just the devil's work," says Wright.

Church members say they have few clues to go on, because the church has not previously been threatened in any way. They also say that there was not really a pattern, other than perhaps that the affected headstones were the ones closest to the cemetery's driveway.

"We did have one member come by Saturday," says Wright. "And some guys were under the trees out there just sitting in the car."

He says the guys told the church members that they were just sitting in the shade. The men are described as three young white males. We're told that they were in a blue truck, a white car and a red car. No other description is available.

Meanwhile, investigators say this type of vandalism is not a laughing matter.

"According to the law, the penalty is up to a year in the county jail and up to a $500 fine," says Maj. Ward Calhoun with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call authorities at (601) 917-8888.


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