LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Police are looking for suspects who damaged more than 100 headstones at a century-old cemetery in Longmont. The damage done will cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
Police don’t have any leads yet but have collected solid evidence from the crime scene in Mountain View Cemetery.
Along with the headstones, a Civil War monument was pushed over and destroyed over the weekend. The statue alone was worth up to $40,000. The case is tied to a string of vandalism at the cemetery dating back to June 30.
“We know at least two people had climbed up on this monument,” cemetery manager Tracey George said. “We have some (footprints) … where they stood up here to push the (statue) down off the top.”
Granite headstones and statues weighing thousands of pounds were knocked over and destroyed. The Civil War statue from 1909 was also decapitated. The vandals left the cemetery with the statue’s head. It was recovered two days later.
“It’s devastating … what, I guess, a group of people can do in a couple of hours,” George said.
The cemetery is a landmark that has been a part of Longmont’s history for 137 years.
“They just keep getting worse and worse,” George said. “We went from six stones to 106.”
A total of 106 headstones were tipped over on Aug. 9, 51 were damaged on July 29, 20 on July 17, and another attack was reported on June 30.
“They’re vandalizing people’s final resting spot and that just never sits well with the community,” Cmdr. Jeff Satur with Longmont police said.
Longmont police say footprints left on headstones and evidence left on the statue’s head is helping the investigation.
“We’re going to be processing the head for any DNA evidence we can collect, we’re going to be submitting that to CBI,” Satur said.
They still hoping someone in the community will come forward.
“They’re not only doing damage to the cemetery, they’re damaging memories for families,” George said.
The suspects could be facing serious felony charges. A private resident has decided to offer a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest make the total reward at $3,000.