Historic cemetery vandalized, causing more than $120,000 in damages

Cemetery Vandalism

EUSTACE, Texas (KLTV) - The Henderson County community is coming together to help find those responsible for vandalizing one of their historic cemeteries.

“The public reached out and we did get some tips and it led us to where it looks like were going to clear the investigation,” said Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse. “We just have more investigating to do.”

The Goshen Cemetery in Eustace has graves dating back to the 1800s.

“This is one of the old historic sites here in Henderson County and I think that’s one of the reason there’s so much outreach to the sheriffs office to assist us in the investigation,” said Hillhouse.

The Sheriff’s office is estimating around 35 of the historic grave sites were damaged this week.

“The board members gave us an estimate of probably $3,500 per site,” said Hillhouse. “So, we’re looking at over $120,000 worth of damage.”

Since hearing of the damage, families have been heading to the cemetery to see if their loved ones’ graves are okay.

“It’s just a shame to see that they’ve done this to all these beautiful headstones and monuments,” said Ricki Kirkpatrick, who has family buried in the cemetery. “I just don’t get why you would do something like this. It’s a place where family is supposed to be able to come and mourn and remember their family; it just doesn’t make any sense.”

According to Sheriff Hillhouse, those in the community with the ability to fix the grave sites are hoping to help.

WEBXTRA: Cemetery vandals cause over $100K damage

“I actually had some individuals that repair some sites like this and I’m trying to put them in touch with the board,” said Hillhouse. “They’re trying to make the blow not as bad and they want to work with the board to get the sites back in the condition they need to be.”

Hillhouse said with the estimated damages right now, the responsible parties will be charged with felony criminal mischief.

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