Almost 100 Gravestones Vandalized in Historic Virginia Cemetery | NBC4 Washington

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Almost 100 Gravestones Vandalized in Historic Virginia Cemetery

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    Northern Virginia Bureau Reporter David Culver updates plans to repair damage to tombstones caused by vandals at the Warrenton Cemetery.

    (Published Friday, May 26, 2017)

    A Virginia community is raising money to repair almost 100 gravestones at an historic cemetery and searching for the vandals who damaged them.

    Caution tape marks the spots where gravestones were smashed or toppled at Warrenton Cemetery.

    "Well, I'm sad to say we don't know much,” Warrenton Police Chief Louis Battle said. “We know that there were 93 gravestones vandalized. We know that it happened overnight between April 12 and April 13. That's about the extent of the information that we have."

    He said he’s never seen anything like it in his 40 years in law enforcement.

    "It's very disturbing, but more than that, it's just sad,” he said. “I feel for the families; I feel for the community. It's a loss and it strikes at the heart of what this small town is about."

    Given the extent of the damage, the chief thinks several people were involved.

    "I mean, there's better things to do in life. How did you ever think to do this?” Fauquier Historical Society Treasurer Laura Kelsey wondered. “And why did you do this? That would be my question."

    The Fauquier Historical Society is collecting the money to help make the repairs, especially for the graves with no one to care for them.

    "There are some of these they call orphan graves that don't have any descendants in the area," Kelsey said.

    Solving the case will bring healing, Battle said.

    "We can put the headstones back up and we can restore the older ones that are damaged, but it's an open wound right now, and I think solving this is going to close that wound," he said.