"Garrett's Law" Grave Vandalized - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR -- Heather Flanigan Reports

"Garrett's Law" Grave Vandalized

October 20, 2005 – Posted at 4:12 p.m. CDT

PARAGOULD, AR -- In 2004, Garrett Simpson was born addicted to drugs, including crystal methamphetamine, and died a few months later. His biological mother admitted to using drugs the day he and his twin sister were born.

His grandmother, Betty Stahl, was instrumental in changing a state law making it mandatory for doctors to report babies born with addictions.

Stahl said that she had a feeling to come to the Linwood cemetery in Paragould on Monday night. She said when she got here, what she discovered was deeply disturbing.

“The nightlights were down and smashed, flowers were lying down and it seemed that someone had tried to get the plaque behind the stone out of the ground,” said Stahl.

The damage has been repaired now, but the memory of what happened still burns bright. Stahl visits Garrett’s grave often...making a trip on Thursday with Garrett’s twin sister MaKayla.

“It’s awful to do anything to a grave, let alone an infant’s grave. If someone's got something against me or the Garrett’s law then come talk to me, let things be here,” said Stahl.

Garrett's law was passed earlier this year, allowing for doctors to notify police when a baby is born with drugs in his or her system.

“Don't bother his grave. that's cruel, to me it's a coward...it's a cowards way. Because, like I said, this is a special place for all of us,” said Stahl.

It appears that Garrett Simpson’s grave might not have been the only one here at Linwood cemetery to be vandalized. Paragould police officials are still searching for suspects.

If you have any information please call (870) 236-7621.

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