Multiple headstones toppled at cemetery, reward offered
UNION COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - A $600 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest of whomever is responsible for toppling multiple headstones at a cemetery in Union County, Illinois.
Approximately 15 headstones were toppled and damaged at the Casper Church Cemetery on Friday night, May 22.
According to a cemetery board member, it’s believed a group came out to the graveyard between 10 to 10:30 p.m. and caused at least $5,000 worth of damage to the cemetery.
Board Member Tiffiny Dillow said some of the damaged headstones are irreplaceable and date back 150 years.
Some of the stones are those of the county’s forefathers.
In addition to the stones knocked over, a canopy, used by board members and volunteers, was destroyed.
It’s not just an act of vandalism. It’s personal.
That’s how treasurer Sharon Hall described the damage to the tombstones.
“Who would do this?” A question many are asking in Union County .
"It's not as much upsetting as it is heartbreaking because this is a family cemetery and it's been established by our ancestors and their ancestors," she said.
She’s said they were setting up for their annual fundraiser during memorial day weekend.
"We got here early to set up the donation table and to meet and greet everybody as they come in," Hall said.
And she said instead they found the unthinkable.
"We had tombstones all turn over and we had a tent here for the covering of the people that were collecting money and they totally shred that," Hall said.
Hall said at least three of the damaged tombstones date back more than 100 years.
"We have some back here and their families have been deceased for many years so if their going to be repaired it's going to be a volunteer job from somebody else," she said.
She said this damage hits home to her.
"This is very personal although I have to say the damaged headstones were not my immediate family, but they would be relatives down the line," Hall said.
Hall said they've had an outpouring of donations, and she hopes someone comes forward soon.
"I do hope that who ever has done this will answer that question to the lord cause it needs to be answered!" Hall said.
If you know anything about this you can reach out to the Union County Sheriffs’ Office at 618-833-5500.
The Casper Church Cemetery Board is in the process of working with families to have their loved one’s headstones fixed.
Dillow said one man has offered to reset the stones.
Donations are being accepted to help the families pay for repairs. For information on how to help, click here.
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