GEORGETOWN, OH (FOX19) - A place where people put their loved ones to rest is now the scene of a crime in Georgetown.
Police are investigating vandalism at the village's cemetery. The 16,000 gravestones on the Confidence Cemetery property are somber, yet sometimes soothing, reminders of lives lost. That's why the vandalism is so painfully disturbing to people in the community.
"Hard to understand why anybody would choose to go to a cemetery and damage it," said Arthur Owens, the village administrator.
On Easter morning, it was discovered that someone, or several people, had ripped flowers out of the ground, crushed vases, and thrown decor aside.
"It's a disgrace. It really is," said Adam Geschwind, who has relatives buried in the cemetery.
Community leaders can't say at this point whether one person or multiple people are responsible for the crime, but they have said that no matter who is responsible, it's unacceptable.
"I just can't explain the way that I felt other than flabbergasted, or thrown for a loop. It was just horrible," said Holly Napier DeRose, who lives in Maysville but has relatives buried in Georgetown.
Police are already patrolling the property, and village officials are ready to punish the perpetrator.
"I would definitely make them go clean up everything," Geschwind said.
Investigators are following up on every lead and every tip and are hoping, if nothing else, that they can send a message to the person who tried to butcher the burial ground: in Georgetown, desecrating the deceased will not be tolerated.
"If we find out who did it, they'll be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Owens said.
Police said the person, or people, who did it could be charged with a felony. Anyone who goes to the cemetery and discovers damage to their loved one's grave site is encouraged to contact village officials and/or police. Owens said if the vandalism continues, they will consider changing their security plan.