Jonesboro Police investigating cemetery vandalism

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) For 21 years, a life-sized marble statue of Thelma Holford has stood beside her above-ground vault at the Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery.

Until this past weekend when vandals brought it down, causing more than 70-thousand dollars worth of damage. Now, police want to know who committed this grave crime.

What's normally a peaceful place Jonesboro Police say fell victim to vandalism over the weekend.

"It's not real common, we do see it occasionally though," said Jonesboro Police Detective, Rodney Smith.

Detective Rodney Smith says workers at the Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery noticed the damage Monday morning.  In photographs provided to Region 8 news by JPD, you'll notice this statue toppled over and broken.

"Believe right now it was an isolated incident. When I was out at the cemetery they said that they were checking all of their other, checking out throughout the cemetery and hadn't found any other damage,"

The statue has been in the cemetery for years.  According to the police report, it's made of marble with a hefty price tag in order to replace it.

"The 75 thousand dollars is an estimate on what it would cost to replace the statue and believe it was imported from Italy when it was originally bought," said Smith.

It's costly damage to this statue.  Detective Smith says those responsible for the damage could  face serious charges.

"With a criminal mischief charge anything that's intentional damage over  500 dollars makes it's a felony," said Smith.

Smith says the vandalism occurred sometime over this past weekend--maybe even on Halloween.  He says right now, they don't have any suspects and are encouraging anyone with information to come forward.

The memorial was commissioned by Thelma Holford.  She flew to Italy to have a life-sized cast of herself and her beloved dog, Bunnie, made and was made with marble from the same quarry used by Michelangelo.

The statue features the inscription, "don't be afraid to stand alone."

Ms. Holford died in 1989.

If you have any information about this vandalism, call Crime Stoppers at 935-stop.

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