150-year-old Bethel Cemetery vandalized second time this year

150-year-old Bethel Cemetery vandalized twice in 2017

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) – Some people are outraged after vandals damaged statues and headstones at a cemetery, some of which dated back to the 1800s.      

The Bethel Cemetery has been a part of the Pulaski County community for more than 150 years and for the second time in just a few short months vandals have knocked over headstones.

"They pushed them out of the ground," said Kim Henderson.

Henderson has been helping take care of the Bethel Cemetery near Jacksonville for many years.

"It's just a very peaceful place and everybody loves this area." But, Henderson was shocked to learn that over the weekend 40 headstones were knocked over. "It just completely broke when it hit the ground, because they're so old."

Some of the headstones were split into pieces and even unearthed at the base.

"Some of the older ones over here behind me that are 1886 is the death date on them.  Those when they pushed those over they broke in 3 places."

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time vandals have struck this cemetery. Back in April, 8 headstones were damaged and repaired.

"Not any respect, at all," said Henderson.

He said many of the headstones are pretty heavy, some weighing hundreds of pounds others are more than a century old.

"The old ones are irreplaceable.  You can't replace things that are that old. I'm afraid it could happen again."

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department is still investigating who may have done the damage.  They encourage anyone who may have information to call their department.

A group of volunteers helped repair some of the damage Tuesday evening. McGhee Monument donated the supplies to fix some of the salvageable headstones.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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