Police are investigating after 43 headstones were vandalized at the St. Andrew’s-St. James’ Cemetery in Orillia.
OPP say the incident, which is being classified as mischief, occurred sometime between Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Monday at 8 a.m. at the cemetery on Coldwater Road.
“It was discovered basically yesterday morning around 9 a.m. when the staff reported to work for the day,” Stephanie Worthington, the cemetery’s business manager, told Global News.
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As the ground staff made their rounds that morning, they noticed a broken monument before finding many more as they made their way around the property, Worthington added.
Of the 43 headstones that were vandalized, Worthington said six were heavily damaged.
“The six that were heavily damaged basically are some of the first monuments that would’ve been erected on the cemetery grounds when it was established,” Worthington said.
The cemetery was established in 1873 and now extends over 48 acres – 39 of which contain in excess of 25,000 burials, with nine acres available for future generations.
“I do feel that the majority of them are repairable, so those will be taken off the site for the monument companies to do this evaluation and try to come up with a plan for putting the pieces back together,” Worthington added.
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At this point, the cost of damages is unclear, she said. “It’s too early to know now what their charges are going to be.”
Police say they’re looking for members of the public to help bring the incident to a close.
Anyone with information can contact the Orillia OPP at 705-326-3536 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
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