Reward offered in Burke County cemetery desecration

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ATLANTA — Caretakers of one of Geor­gia’s oldest cemeteries say the scene was heart-breaking: A toddler’s bones were spilled on the ground. The uniform buried with a soldier in another plot was strewn on the ground.

A desecrated grave sits open at the Old Church Cemetery near Waynesboro, Ga. The casket of a 14-month-old girl was unearthed, and her bones were dumped out.  BURKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
BURKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
A desecrated grave sits open at the Old Church Cemetery near Waynesboro, Ga. The casket of a 14-month-old girl was unearthed, and her bones were dumped out.

Now, a reward of more than $2,000 is being offered for information on the desecration at the Old Church Cemetery, which dates to 1758 in the east Georgia countryside near Waynesboro.

Clothing buried with a soldier was removed, leaving his bones exposed,
Burke County sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Cochran said. Relic hunting is a possible motive, he said.

“Most of the time when soldiers were buried, they were buried with their items to keep the enemy soldiers from getting them,” Cochran said.

Leroy Bell Jr., the commander of the American Legion post that cares for
the cemetery, discovered the damage Sa­turday.

A small cast-iron casket containing remains of 14-month Emma Jane McElmurray, buried in 1884, was removed and its contents dumped out, Bell said.

“They took it completely out and dumped everything out in the perimeter of the family plot,” Bell said Wednesday.

“It was just total devastation,” he said. “I thought, ‘Why in God’s name could anybody do anything like this?’” Bell said. “I just can’t understand it, other than
the fact they were wanting some kind of trinkets.”

Cochran said authorities don’t know what items were buried with the bodies, so they’re not sure what might have been stolen.

All of the buttons had been removed from the military clothing left on the ground, which appeared to be a soldier’s uniform coat, Bell said.

Leaders of American Legion Post 120 plan to rededicate the soldiers’ graves and restore the damaged monuments, Bell said.

“It’s just going to take a little time because we’re just a small American Legion here in Waynesboro and we don’t have that many members,” he said.

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julie123
43
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julie123 04/18/13 - 07:55 am
2
0
Mailing address for donations?

Is there a mailing address available for donations to be sent to?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 04/18/13 - 08:18 am
4
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hella disrespectful

wouldn't surprise me if those responsible ran into some type of retribution in this life or the next.

I'm Back Again
307
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I'm Back Again 04/18/13 - 09:36 am
0
0
Scum of the earth. What goes
Unpublished

Scum of the earth. What goes around...

Little Lamb
44976
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Little Lamb 04/18/13 - 10:08 am
1
0
Cold

Lt. Columbo said that murder trails get really cold really fast.

Farmboy
925
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Farmboy 04/18/13 - 02:20 pm
4
0
Please try not to worry...

Nobody gets away with anything like this. Trust me, you don't bother a person's final resting place. You might not be there to see it when it happens, but the powers that be know who they are. Trust me. Just wait and see.

BamaMan
2247
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BamaMan 04/18/13 - 02:33 pm
4
0
Despicable!

I hope to goodness they find the jackasses that did this! Hang them from the highest pole in Burke County and beat the living snot out of them in full view of the whole county.

Darby
24829
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Darby 04/18/13 - 09:01 pm
3
0
"wouldn't surprise me if those

responsible ran into some type of retribution in this life or the next."

.
If their names become public, you can bet on it.

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