Shanna Riley January 30th, 2008
The statue you see here is gone, along with the remains of two people in an act on vandalism that has shocked and troubled residents of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
On the morning of Wednesday, January 23, cemetery workers at Greenoaks Memorial Park found a number of graves vandalized - spray painted with vulgarities and some with raw meat smeared across them.
In addition, the large Jesus statue in the Lakeside Chapel mausoleum had been defaced - the hands and nose brutally chopped off.
A couple of days later, to everyone's horror, cemetery personnel realized that the glass had been broken in one of Lakeside Chapel's columbariums (a final resting place for urns carrying cremated remains) and the remains of two people - one an elderly woman, Gertrude Gram Ineson, who died in 1985 - had been stolen. One can only imagine the pain the families of the missing deceased are feeling right now.
Another family going through additional pain is that of Amber Pike Foreman - a thirty year-old woman who was killed by a drunk driver in January 2007. Her final resting place, which was defaced with spray paint and raw meat on the 23rd, has been vandalized for the third time.
Law enforcement officials claim other Baton Rouge cemeteries, including Roselawn Memorial Park and Mausoleum on North Street, and Liberal Synagogue Cemetery, also on Florida Boulevard, have been vandalized in a similar fashion in the last few months. Graves are defaced and items are destroyed or stolen. This is the first case, it appears, that actual remains have been taken, though.
One has to wonder what kind of a person would do such a thing...to deface and defile an innocent person's final resting place, to put a grieving family through even more pain and horror, to have such careless and cold-hearted indifference to your fellow man.
I, and everyone else here, can only hope the culprits are caught and brought to justice before they can do anymore harm.