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Teen Charged With Vandalizing Laurens Church Cemetery | News

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Teen Charged With Vandalizing Laurens Church Cemetery

The Laurens County sheriff says they've charged a 15-year-old with vandalizing dozens of graves at a church cemetery.

Sheriff Bill Harrell says they suspect the damage was done sometime Sunday. The teenaged boy was arrested that night after a tip.

It happened at the Bethsaida Baptist Church on Highway 80, west of Dublin.

Headstones were toppled, boards cracked, and plants damaged for most of the graves there.

Frances Dominy, a church member says several of her relatives are buried in the cemetery, as well as a grave for her young son, who died in 1963 when he was 5 months old.

The baby's headstone with a little lamb on top of it was toppled and smashed.

"I can't figure out how anybody could do something like this," Dominy said. 

Harrell says he's not sure why the boy vandalized the cemetery, but he suspects just one person was involved.  The boy is being held at a Youth Detention Center.

While there are some historic tombstones, much of the cemetery is filled with deceased relatives whose immediate family members are still alive.

Church members say insurance won't cover the thousands of dollars worth of damage, likely leaving families with that burden.

But in addition to the monetary burden, church members say it has taken an emotional toll.

"I just hope that he'll find God and see where he was wrong," says Dominy. "And that he can find some kind of peace after doing something like this."

Those interested in donating towards the church's cemetery fund can write checks to Bethsaida Baptist Church, 2519 Hwy. 80 West, Dublin, GA 31021.

You can follow Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge


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