Tombstones Overturned, Vandalized in Former Governor’s Cemetery
HUNTINGDON, Tenn. — Police say they’re searching for the person responsible for vandalizing tombstones at the cemetery of a former Tennessee governor. The Hawkins Cemetery in Huntingdon is littered with broken beer bottles and six grave markers are overturned. The oldest date back to the 1800s. Investigators say a city worker discovered the vandalism last week. “Look like somebody just took that [stone] I guess that’s just like the foot stone or whatever and the one that’s marked mother, just threw it into the tombstone,” Sergeant Joey Hedge said, Huntingdon Police Department. One of the vandalized tombstones belongs to former Tennessee Governor, Alvin Hawkins. Residents are calling this a vicious prank. “They don’t care. They’re probably just young kids doing it or even the same as adults, some adults act as kids,” Sheri Ballard said, a Huntingdon resident. Officials say so far they don’t have much to work with. “I was always taught not to even walk on the graves, you know, as far as damaging the headstones, that’s very disrespectful,” Hedge said. According to investigators, this is the second case of vandalism of a cemetery. Just last year police say the Oak Hill Cemetery was targeted. “With that stuff going on, makes you kinda leery like now me,” Ballard said. “Whose to say nobody goes out here and vandalize on this vacant property next to me.” Investigators say they don’t believe the vandalism cases are connected. The mayor of Huntingdon says the cemetery belongs to the city but the stones will be fixed, and the money for repairs will come from the city budget. Authorities urge anyone with information to contact the Huntingdon Police Department.