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Vandals destroy headstones at Franklin cemetery

Posted at 10:37 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 23:44:26-04

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Several large headstones at a Franklin cemetery were found damaged Monday morning.

More than a dozen headstones at Franklin’s Greenlawn Cemetery were knocked over and broken. Property owners said many of the sites date back to the 1800s.

One of those damaged was at a child’s grave site where an angel statue was decapitated.

"It's not the first time this has happened so I kind of just ‘thought oh here we go again’ until we realized the extent of the damage this time,” said Stuart Smith, operations supervisor.

Smith said of the two years he has worked at the cemetery, the recent incident was by far the worst.

"I think it was just a random, barbaric vandalizing. Pretty disappointing,” said Smith. “What somebody's mind can come up with these days, vandalizing somebody's stone... obviously the thought of somebody doing this to one of their family members never crossed their mind.”

Most of the damage was limited to the north end of the cemetery where it’s dark.

"It's extremely disrespectful,” said Linsey Owens, a frequent visitor. “It's rude and they don't know how many people they are hurting when they do that.”

Cemetery workers said some of the headstones can be secured to their foundations but the damage to some is irreparable.

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