City Officials Respond to Tombstone Vandalism

by Courtney Wheaton on April 4, 2014 at 6:35 am

Zanesville Mayor Jeff Tilton says someone did some major damage to an area cemetery. Whiz’s Courtney Wheaton reports that police are asking for the public’s help to find out who’s responsible.

Broken and displaced tombstone litter the grounds at Woodlawn Cemetery just between Pershing Rd. and Cliffwood Ave. City officials believe that late last night someone came into the cemetery and started to destroy the grave sites one by one.

I think this is just a deplorable act. I can’t even reason what would make someone come in a desecrate the cemetery, " said Public Service Director, Chip Saunders.

The destroyed graves will not only come at an financial cost but an emotional one as well.
" Many of the vandalized graves have historical significance, some were built as early is the 1800’s and simply cannot be replaced."

At least forty stones were reported being knocked over during the act of vandalism and the city is working on getting the stones that are repairable fixed as soon as possible.

" We are going to do what we can to reset the stones that have been knocked over. We are going to consult some headstone companies to figure what it takes to do that,’ said Saunders.

The Cemeteries and Parks Superintendent, Jeff Johnson says that hopes the culprit realizes the severity of their actions.

"I believe people bring people to the cemetery because they believe that is their final resting place and they expect that. Not people coming in and tipping over the tombstones and to desecrate the cemeteries, and also let the people know that did this it is a felony," said Johnson.

Johnson says that the city is working with the Zanesville Police Department to investigate the crime. He says that they plan to prosecute the individual to the fullest extent. People with relatives buried at Woodlawn are asked to come to the cemetery to check for damages and report back to Mayor Jeff Tilton’s Office.