13 headstones vandalized at Winston-Salem church cemetery

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Members at Bethel United Methodist church are still trying to figure out why someone would want to break, damage and knock over 13 headstones at the church’s cemetery sometime last weekend.

The graveyard dates back to the 1820s and many of the stones damaged were more than 100 years old and original.

Church members found the vandalism Sunday morning and can’t understand why anyone would want harm someone’s final resting place.

“I’m sure they thought they were having fun when they were doing it, but what is the fun in destruction,” said Wayne Lanier, a member of the church’s cemetery committee.

Police estimate the damage at more than $8,000. Church members say they have insurance that will cover most of the cost, but it won’t replace the pieces of history that have been destroyed.

“There’s no sense in it,” Lanier said. “I can’t figure out what kind of pleasure anybody would get out of doing something like this.”

Many of the graves are so old only indirect family members are still around. That’s why Lanier says he is so upset.

“This is a graveyard, God’s people are buried here. We should honor these people not destroy their memories,” Lanier said.

If you have any information about the crime you can call Winston-Salem Crimestoppers at 727-2800.

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