There’s no resting in peace for Mountain View Cemetery in Connell since vandals caused about $1,500 damage to headstones and the parking lot.
The cemetery at the top of the hill overlooking the town has graves dating back more than a century, and the Franklin County Cemetery District 2 is looking to add modern technology to catch vandals.
District Business Manager Pam Moon said they are researching using surveillance cameras to protect the graves and gravel parking lot.
“We think it was local kids,” said Moon. “They go up there for lunches.”
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Connell police are helping the district by increasing patrols and investigating the damage.
The district can’t afford the estimated $1,5000 to repair the headstones and smooth out the scattered gravel in the lot.
Vandalism near the entrance is usually ATVs spinning doughnuts and tearing up the ground.
Since May we have seen an increase in what we see as vandalism. In September, we had headstone damage, which seems random in choice, vicious in nature and blatantly disrespectful.
Pam Moon, Franklin County Cemetery District 2
“Since May we have seen an increase in what we see as vandalism,” Moon said. “In September, we had headstone damage, which seems random in choice, vicious in nature and blatantly disrespectful.”
Moon reached out to Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers to generate attention in hope someone will step up and help identify the people responsible for the damage. People can leave anonymous tips by calling 509-582-1351.
“What is difficult to understand is the mindset of the ones doing this kind of damage,” Moon said. “Why would someone choose to be disrespectful in such a manner? Is it their own lack of self-respect that causes them to destroy others’ property? … I hope we find out soon.”