MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (WCMH) — The Mount Vernon Public Works Department discovered 30 monuments and gravestones were knocked over with five being significantly damaged at the Moundview Cemetery Monday morning.
Most of them were on the western portion of the 67-acre cemetery, but a pattern was not clear. “A lot of the monuments that were knocked over were the older monuments. Some from the late 1800s and early 1900s, ” said Tom Hinkle, Director of Public Works with the City of Mount Vernon.
The City of Mount Vernon public works department operates the Moundview Cemetery. Right now, police are asking for the public’s help in identifying who’s responsible. The detective in charge of the investigation says he hasn’t seen this amount of damage in more than 20 years he’s been on the force.
“Every once in a while you get a grave stone that gets knocked over or something gets vandalized, but nothing, nothing to this degree,” Detective Matthew Haver told NBC4 Friday. He says they’ll be increasing patrols on the property.
“It’s a cemetery. People cut through there. People come to see their relatives. There’s people that come there all the time, but late at night when it’s supposed to be closed, you start seeing people there. Then our guys are looking into it, IDing people and just seeing, ‘Hey, what are you doing up here?’ said Haver.
The city’s public works department is discussing plans to install video surveillance on the property. However, a timeline on those plans weren’t immediately clear.
If you have any information, you are asked to contact the Mount Vernon Police Department.