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Defiling the dearly departed

Vandals topple tombstones in North East cemetery
Cemetary vandalism .jpeg
Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 11, 2024

NORTH EAST, Md. — The pair of ladies had made the trip down to the North East United Methodist Cemetery from their homes in Delaware to pay their respects to their family members interred there only to learn what police believe was destructive delinquents had damaged dozens of tombstones.

“He’s a young boy. He was only 21-years-old when this happened so it’s devastating for his mom and she doesn’t live close,” said Pat Yochis, “So I was going over there to see if anything happened to his gravestone.”

“Why do you think we bury these people anyway?” asked Ginny Wonchoba, “Not so you can tear them up.”

Police say sometime between 5:00 in the afternoon on Thursday and early the next morning, someone toppled 57 tombstones damaging some of them in the process.

RELATED: Families find over 50 headstones of loved ones pushed over at North East Cemetery

Investigators believe multiple people were involved and they have reason to believe they may be juveniles, but they’re awaiting forensic testing to try to identify them.

North East Cemetery vandals.jpeg

They could face charges of trespassing and the malicious destruction of property, which could require substantial community service and financial restitution if they’re found guilty.

“Prosecute them,” said Terry Ferguson of Elkton who had come to check on a loved one’s marker.

“Prosecute them to the fullest,” added his brother, Paul.

“Make an example of them so this doesn’t happen again,” continued Terry.

It’s the price of desecrating the final resting places of the deceased, and leaving families who still feel the pain of their losses now agonizing over acts of mischief with no regard for their memory.

“That’s sick,” said Yochis, “I don’t know if it’s young children or kids or teenager or what. It’s just like graffiti if they put graffiti on stuff. It’s defacing you know. That’s sick. It’s just sick.”

If you have any information, which could lead police to the people responsible for this damage, you’re asked to call 410-287-5996.