Over 200 Headstones Vandalized At Shawnee Cemetery Over Last 7 Months


Wednesday, January 3rd 2018, 10:20 pm
By: Bonnie Campo


Twenty headstones and 14 vases have been destroyed at Shawnee's Fairview Cemetery.

Police say three juveniles were caught on security camera last Friday.

Joey Young who supervises Fairview says this isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, since June 2017, about 200 headstones have been damaged in total.

“I don't know how else to explain it, desecrating graves,” Young says.

Pieces of headstones were found shattered in the roadway, toppled over in the grass, even some spilt into.

“The damage that is done to them nine times out of 10 is permanent,” Young says. “When it's in 10 or 15 different chunks it never goes back right.”

And those hundreds of markers, mean thousands of dollars in damages.

Young says a city ordinance states repairs should by paid by the family of the deceased.

But time and time again, he and his team have rolled up their sleeves instead.

“These guys need to be caught and be held accountable with what they've done,” Young says. “We are doing the best we can, we are installing security cameras. We are trying to bring an end to this.”

Security footage of the teens has not released, but Young says their path of destruction leads to the nearby McDonalds.

In many cases, vandals seem to have followed a similar trail each time.

While Young can't be sure if the same group is behind every instance, one thing is for certain.

These torn apart tombstones have broken many hearts.

“I have a tie here that runs deep,” Young says, "but it hurts. It really does."

Security cameras have been installed since the cases of summer vandalism.

Shawnee Police have also been on patrol throughout the grounds.

If you’ve seen anything suspicious, you’re asked to give them a call at: 273-2121.