Families Assess Damage At Vandalized East Texas Cemetery

Nelcine Smith and her husband heard about the vandalism last night. They have a lot of family buried at The Lindale City Cemetery, so they wanted to come and check on them.

"These right here are our grandparents and some uncles from quite some time ago," Smith said.

Their family's headstones, like dozens of others, were dumped off of the gravesights, left for their families to find when they came to visit.

89 year old Bobbie Mallory Roberts has lived in Lindale her entire life. Most of her family and friends are buried here. Both her grandparents' and uncle's headstones were hit by the vandals.

She said, "I was sad and mad, and I just can't understand anybody that's that mean. What satisfaction do they get from this?"

Many of the headstones can be lifted up and resecured in place. Others were damaged much worse. The years had made some of the oldest tomb stones very brittle, like one infant's from 1910. When vandals got there hands on it, it was completely destroyed and will have to be replaced.

When Vickie Compton came to check on her mothers grave, she was relieved to see it still in tact. Then, she noticed something was missing.

"My mother loved birds. My little girls had picked out a bird feeder for her, and now, it's gone," Compton said.

"It's heartbreaking. It's evil that someone would desecrate where your loved one's buried."

It will take a lot of work and thousands of dollars to fix all of the memorials that the vandals heartlessly destroyed, but the families say they will do whatever it takes to fix them.

Lindale police are following up on a few leads, but they are asking for your help. If you know anything about what happened, please call them. They're offering a thousand dollar reward if your tip helps them catch whoever is responsible.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com