RUSHVILLE, Ind. – A rural cemetery won't get repaired until the weather starts to warm up in the spring. Hopewell Cemetery, located in southern Rush County, was struck by vandals and tire tracks have left quite a mess still.
It happened in a newer section of the cemetery where it’s likely many plots are still empty. However, Abbagail Isaac has a niece buried in the area. Isaac said the relative passed away nearly three years ago.
"It makes me physically sick to my stomach," Isaac said. "I don’t understand. I don’t understand why you would want to come to a cemetery and why that would be a good idea."
Isaac said the cemetery is her family's. She pointed to other areas on the property where great-grandparents and aunts and uncles were buried.
She said her family is offering a reward to find who tore up the grass, started a fire and left at least one empty bottle, which was found when a caretaker found the damage.
Mike Holzback said he's not sure when the vandalism took place, but after talking with the Rush County Sheriff's Office, authorities believe it took place over a recent weekend.
"We try to keep an eye on the cemetery," said Holzback. "It is in a remote, rural area. The sheriff department has been contacted and they’re trying to keep extra patrols, especially on the weekends."
Isaac went looking for her niece's gravesite but said she couldn't find the headstone or family item left there. She said she wasn't sure if it was moved by the vehicle that drove through the area, stolen or destroyed.
"This is a small town, and this is in the middle of the country, but my loved one is back there and I care about that," said Isaac.
Anyone with any information on this story should give the sheriff's office a call at 765-932-2931.