Residents fuming as tombstones vandalized at Trenton, Ont. area cemeteries
TRENTON, ONT. -- It’s a crime with a huge emotional impact—150 headstones in four separate cemeteries have been defaced by vandals.
It happened in Trenton, just west of Belleville.
Ontario Provincial Police say several headstones at the Mount Evergreen Cemetery on Stockdale Road were found spray-painted on Sunday morning.
The sites were sprayed with red paint and some property, including gifts and flowers left for loved ones, was destroyed.
Headstones and property were also reported vandalized at the Mount Calvary cemetery in Trenton Junction, the St. Georges Cemetery in Trenton, and Mount Zion cemetery northwest of Trenton.
On Monday, police said they believed about 75 headstones had been affected. On Tuesday, they announced that number had more than doubled during the investigation.
Delores Sullivan has family members buried at Mount Evergreen Cemetery. She had to see the vandalism for herself.
“I can’t believe people would do that,” she tells CTV Ottawa. “I was fuming. I was just livid. I’ve never been so angry.”
Luckily, Sullivan’s father, mother and brother’s headstones were spared. Still, she says, she’s furious.
“It’s only a stone but it’s not really only a stone, because somebody you loved is under there,” she says.
Hannah Brown, community engagement officer for the city of Quinte West, says the vandalism has affected the whole community.
“It’s a completeLy senseless crime and the mayor of council are really upset over what has happened,” she says.
Police say all four cemeteries were hit between Friday and Sunday. OPP have not pointed to a motive behind the crime.
On Tuesday, many could be seen coming and going throughout the day, to check on their loved ones' headstones.
David Orr found his friend's angel statue smeared with red, and a wreath had been snapped in pieces.
“Angry. Mostly angry about it. I don’t understand it,” he says. “The people surrounded by him must be angry too. It doesn’t make any sense. Why would you do that?”
OPP ask anyone with information to contact them directly.
The city says a local company has offered to clean the headstones for free.
Police are asking anyone with information, or who may have helpful security footage, to get in touch. OPP can be reached at 1-888-310-1122.