Community rallies for vandalized cemetery

Police are searching for the people responsible for vandalizing a historic cemetery.

LANCASTER, S.C. -- Lancaster citizens have donated enough money to post a $3,000 reward to help find who vandalized a historic cemetery there.

In August, someone destroyed centuries-old gravestones in Lancaster. The Olde Presbyterian Church cemetery dates back to the 1800s.

13 gravestones were destroyed, and repairs will cost over $6,000. Whoever is responsible is still on the run, but hopefully not for long.

“You can see some of the vandalism as we walk along. Nobody wants to see this,” said Lindsay Pettus, president of the Lancaster Society of Historical Preservation. “They completely broke them. We would not be where we are today without the people in this graveyard.”

Pettus says it was once the Lancaster Community Cemetery, which means people of all religions and backgrounds are buried there.

“There are 50 Civil War veterans here,” he said. “Editors of newspapers, chiefs of the police department, mayors buried here.”

And he can’t understand why someone would disrespect the dead.

“We as a people are better than this,” he said. “Lancaster is better than that.”

Much better, as it turns out.

The community donations poured in, paying for most of the repairs. The money also helped cover a $3,000 reward to help find who did this.

“Lancaster has a heart,” Pettus said. “And that came forth during this time.”

If you know anything about who might be responsible for this crime, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or Lancaster Sheriff’s Office at (803) 246-8751. You can also leave an anonymous tip with the police department by calling 803-289-6040.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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