Loved Ones Sought After Cemetery Vandalism

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Two young teenagers have been arrested and charged with multiple crimes after they allegedly tore a local cemetery to pieces. It happened in the former slave cemetery just west of Quitman in the Elwood Community.

Authorities say grave sites were knocked over and the teenagers shot several of the headstones with a gun. The sheriff's department and the cemetery committee is now working to notify those people who have family buried on the property.

Many of the loved ones visiting the cemetery were at a loss of words when they tried to discuss the sadness they feel having seen the vandalism.

"I don't have words to say. It is hard to say what they would say, you know, but I just don't know how to tell you how I feel about it," said George McGee.

For many of the other dozens of people gathered by their loved ones grave sites, the emotions came flooding out.

"I don't care who it is. Normally people respect the dead. For them to do this it's just disgusting," said Raymond Heard.

The scenes were shocking to the family members. Grave stones were knocked over, shot with a gun and in some cases feces was wiped across the headstones.

"It makes you want to go somewhere and wonder what is going on in the world," said Heard.

Many of the family members say they can't believe someone would disrespect the dead in such a dramatic way. Even harder for the people is that two juveniles are accused of the crime.

"They have confessed. They will be charged with felony malicious mischief and cemetery desecration. They are juveniles and will be charged within the youth court system," said Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp.

Their names will not be released because of their ages. The sheriff says they were thirteen and fourteen.

Now, the cemetery committee has the huge task of finding relatives who would want to know their loved ones grave sites have been disturbed or even left impossible to identify. In some cases, the headstones were moved so far from the site that there is no marker identifying the plot. Considering many of the people were buried in the cemetery over a hundred years ago, the task could prove to be difficult.

"They will be fixed whether it's the people who did it pay for it or I pay for it. It will not stay like this. It will be fixed one way or another," said Heard.

If you have family buried at the Elwood Cemetery or you think it's possible family could be buried there call 601-776-6619.

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