Vehicle creates deep trenches in historic graveyard

Published 4:05 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department is investigating vandalism at the historic Union Grove Cemetery.

The small cemetery off County Road 432, way off the beaten path, is the final resting place for about 50 people. Several graves are from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Deputies responded to the cemetery at 8:10 a.m. on Tuesday and found significant damage to the cemetery grounds, including desecration of headstones and the collapse of one grave.

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The damage appears to have been caused by a vehicle that drove into the cemetery — on top and near to the graves — got stuck in the mud and caused deep trenches in the ground.

Deputies arrested Nathaniel Stone and booked him into the Lafayette County Detention Center on charges of destroying public property, church building or certain cemetery items.

Sheriff Joey East said the department takes acts of vandalism seriously.

“Especially when they disrupt the sanctity of final resting places,” he said in a statement. “Our office is committed to working diligently with local agencies to restore the disturbed grave site and hold the responsible party accountable.”

Stone’s mug shot was not available Tuesday evening.