Elwood cemetery vandalized by children leaves community stunned

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ELWOOD- 3 children could be facing charges for damaging headstones at the Elwood City Cemetery.

The children involved were able to damage at least 50 different headstones and the owner of the cemetery believes if it wasn’t for good Samaritans, they may have been able to do more destruction.

In fact, Elwood City Cemetery owner Marian Dunnichay is still puzzled on what led three children to desecrate her cemetery.

“To take those stones and to push them over. I mean this is a place where people come to visit, to pay respect, to remember the good times with their family members, children, and their mom and dad,” Dunnichay said.

One of the sections they damaged was the “Baby Land” part of the cemetery.

It’s where they bury infants.

According to Elwood Police Department three children ages 5, 7, and 8 were seen by locals pushing over the headstones and smashing items loved ones placed on the headstones Tuesday afternoon.

Among those items damaged was the headstone of Tim Hunt’s younger brother.

“I think it’s a shame that people come and destroy something like that,” Hunt explained.

Dunnichay said if these were her kids, she would have them volunteer at the cemetery and use this as a teachable moment.

 “With their age even to see them out here picking up rocks or sticks. Someone could come out on a Saturday and make them wash off headstones,” Dunnichay said.

Dunnichay does want people to focus on the positive. Like the good Samaritan who saw the kids while he was riding his bike and helped police track them down.

“People doing the right thing and stepping up. That gives me hope that this is hopefully going to educate people around here and people in Marion, Madison and other counties,” Dunnichay said.

No charges have been filed against the three children. The Elwood Police Department said they could face charges but the would be up to the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office.

Dunnichay doesn’t know how much the damage is going to cost to fix and she hasn’t been able to notify all the loved ones either. She asks if you have a loved buried at the cemetery go look and see if there’s been any damage done to it.

If so, let them know.

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