The search is on for the people who vandalized a North Country Cemetery. More than 50 grave sites at the Canton St. Mary's Cemetery were damaged. As our Barry Wygel tells us, as the search for suspects continues, the community begins to rebuild.
CANTON, N.Y. -- It's an act unheard of for this Canton Congregation.
"The parishioners that I have met, even this morning out there, nobody can recall an event like that," said Rev. Douglas Lucia, Pastor of St. Mary's Parish in Canton.
While visiting a relative on Sunday, a parishioner of St. Mary's in Canton noticed something was awry at the cemetery. A number of grave sites had been damaged.
"First they thought the wind had blown over some flags, but as they started to investigate they noticed people had actually sort of destroyed them," said Lucia.
In addition to the destroyed flags, about 50 grave stones had been knocked over.
The damage was not limited to one section of the cemetery. In fact toppled headstones were found throughout the grounds and on both sides of Riverside Drive.
"Our guess is anytime between Thursday and yesterday. But looking at some of the stones that were tipped and the freshness of the mud, it would appear it was the weekend," said Lucia.
Cleanup has already begun at the site. Volunteers picked up flags and flowerpots, and plans were made to restore the fallen gravestones.
"Beginning tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock, Witherbee and Whalen, a local monument company, their staff is actually going in to start reattaching the monuments, start raising the monuments," said Lucia.
The church's insurance will cover the cost of righting the monuments, with the possibility of restitution if the perpetrator is caught.
Police are still searching for the person or people responsible for the vandalism.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the St. Lawrence County Sheriffs Department at 315-379-2222.