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Grave markers vandalized at cemetery near Boonsboro

October 03, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Tombstones were vandalized at the Manor Church of the Brethren cemetery near Boonsboro.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

The tombstones of an infant and a few World War II veterans were among about a dozen grave markers that were vandalized recently at the cemetery neighboring the Manor Church of the Brethren near Boonsboro.

Pastor Joy Zepp said she received a call on Monday morning notifying her that vandals had pushed over the headstones.

“I’m disgusted,” she said. “I don’t understand why people have to destroy other people’s property.”

Roughly 12 tombstones, including those marking the graves of World War II veterans and an infant who died in 1918, were lying on the rain-soaked ground Tuesday. Some of the markers are so old that the lettering has worn away over time.

Cemetery caretaker Heather Gossard said the cemetery dates to the 18th century. She said the graveyard no longer belongs to the church but is owned by a mixture of church members and others who bought shares in the property.

She said a member of the congregation discovered the vandalism, which is believed to have happened between Sept. 26 and Sunday.

Gossard said the tombstones won’t get fixed until she finds “some strong people” to hoist the stones back on their foundations.

“If they catch the people who did this, give them to me and I’ll have them set them back up. They ought to be ashamed,” she said.

Most of the headstones that were damaged had been pushed over, Gossard said. But the grave marker of the infant was broken in half.

Deputy 1st Class Carly Hose, spokeswoman for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said that the incident remained under investigation.

Anyone with information may call the sheriff’s office at 240-313-2100.

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