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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 08/28/13
SHATTERED STONES. Above, Bruce Township Supervisor Richard Cory examines one of the many toppled tombstones at the Goodrich Cemetery on Kidder Road. Officials are asking residents to report any information about the vandalism that resulted in extensive damage to aging grave markers, as seen in the photos below. The broken tombstones were discovered on Aug. 19.
(Observer photos by Chris Gray)
Police seek information
on cemetery vandalism
by CHRIS GRAYThe Michigan State Police (MSP) and Bruce officials are seeking information regarding massive vandalism at a local cemetery.
Observer Staff Writer
Supervisor Richard Cory said the township was made aware on Aug. 19 of about 40 damaged or pushed over grave markers at the Goodrich Cemetery.
The cemetery, located on Kidder Road north of 37 Mile Road, no longer accepts burials due to being at capacity. Most of the grave markers have dates going back to the 1800s.
Cory said the destruction was discovered when the township's lawn service went to cut the grass. He said the actual vandalism probably took place on Aug. 15 or 16.
"This cemetery is destroyed, it's completely destroyed," he said.
Tombstones now lay on the ground, having been pushed off of their pedestals. One grave marker had a large stone sphere on top, which the vandals decided to remove and push down a slope behind the cemetery.
Tombstones with cylindrical stones decorating their tops were pushed off and rolled through the cemetery as well. Some fallen markers even landed on other stones, causing further damage.
"Every one that could be toppled they pretty much toppled," Cory said.
Lt. Mike Shaw of the MSP said troopers examined the site on Aug. 20 to check for fingerprints and other evidence, but were unable to locate any of either.
Cory said the Romeo Bulldogs varsity football team has offered to assist in picking up some of the fallen grave markers, though he worries that some are too heavy for people to safely lift.
In the meantime, he said he is looking into what the township's insurance will cover for repairing the damaged markers. He is asking anyone with information to come forward.
Cory said the cemetery has a reputation for being haunted, attracting ghost hunters and curious spectators alike. He said he wonders if the attention the cemetery has received is what drew the vandals to it.
The Paranormal Investigators and Research Council of Michigan is one of many groups that have looked for spirits at the site. The team's website informs visitors of the recent damages, and asks anyone wishing to investigate to be mindful of "dawn to dusk" regulations.
"Remember to always take care of our cemeteries," the site reads. "They are a part of our history and should be revered as such."
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism can call the MSP tip line at (248) 584-5530.