Vandals topple headstones at Radford cemetery

Published: Apr. 12, 2018 at 6:50 PM EDT
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Several headstones were recently knocked over in one of Radford's oldest cemeteries. Some markers belonging to infants and longtime residents were vandalized.

"It was just gut wrenching," said Lynn Wright, a cemetery volunteer. "I just came through and the place just looked flat to me."

In Central Cemetery where rich history is buried, talks of vandalism now trump the history lessons.

"It looks like they've gone to every stone and pushed and whichever ones gave way went over and they just went to the next one," said April Danner, a historian who give tours of the graveyard.

Stones lay face down in a graveyard where many veterans are buried. Lynn Wright has family here.

"Several folks have family up here and they're quite upset. I mean this is history," Wright said.

Many of the headstones date back to the 19th century. April Danner gives tours of the cemetery. This isn't the first time this has happened.

"Wrecks happen there. It's in a three way intersection where roads come together, cars drive through it," Danner said.

It's been a trend to vandalize the cemetery every few years, she says. Headstones have been found in rented apartments.

The cemetery has no owner, but is rather kept up and mowed by a loose group of volunteers.

Now they're working to get more helpers to set the stones back in their place.

"Just sheerly on a volunteer basis, we don't have money for that. So we can do it, get them back up the best we can," Danner said.

This most recent act of vandalism most likely happened in late February or early March. Radford police say they are aware and investigating.