Families Outraged After Cemetery Vandals Overturn Gravestones

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Jessica Kartalija 80x80 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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NEW MARKET, Md. (WJZ)—Vandals cause significant damage to a Frederick County cemetery.

Jessica Kartalija reports more than 20 headstones were vandalized and will cost thousands to repair.

“She played the piano. She liked make-up. She liked to go to the Halloween party,” said Shirley Young, 80.

Young adored her grandmother, Leila. Now, she’s wondering how someone could vandalize her tombstone at New Market Cemetery.

“It’s a part of me that they have desecrated,” Young said.

Cemetery treasurer Michael Sponsellar believes a number of vandals are responsible for the damage, saying pieces weighing as much as 800 pounds were moved.

“If I try, I can move it 1/8th of an inch. That’s all. That’s how heavy that piece of slate is,” Sponsellar said.

Damage to a giant cross was done even before vandals hit the cemetery Sunday night.

“It’s very fortunate that nobody was in the way of that when it was pushed over.  If it landed on top of them it would have killed them,” Sponsellar said.

Some of the damaged stones have rich history–belonging to families like the Hyatts for whom Hyattstown and Hyattsville were named.

“I just certainly hope they find the individuals who are responsible,” Young said.

Damage is estimated to cost $50,000 to repair.

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