Vandals have damaged more than 100 tombstones at Brookfield Township Cemetery.

Some of the names on the tombstones at Brookfield Cemetery have worn away over the course of a couple centuries. They read like an honor roll of Brookfield Township society: families like the Kepners, Kirilas and Mullens.

Steel man Henry Roemer’s buried there, as are hundreds of other men and women who left their mark on the Shenango Valley. Some of their graves are unmarked now, since vandals toppled, crushed and defaced more than 100 tombstones last week.

“It’s just ridiculous,” township resident Patricia Mele said Tuesday. “I don’t know if they think they’re having a good time or what.”

She visits the cemetery a couple times a week to water flowers at the Cunningham plot. Friday, she noticed something was missing: a couple stone angels and the candleholder that lighted the grave were gone.

Ms. Meale found the angels nearby, smashed to bits. The candleholder was found in a tree.

She cleaned up the grave, but hopes township officials are working to do something about the vandalism.

They are.

“We have insurance, we’re checking on it now,” township Trustee J. Philip Schmidt said.

In the past, vandalism has been covered, but “nothing this extensive” has happened before, Schmidt said.

The vandalism was noticed Aug. 7, Police Chief Dan Faustino said, adding he thinks it happened the night before.

Jaime Fredenburg, the township’s road supervisor, estimated the damage at about $10,000, Faustino said.

Tombstones throughout the cemetery were toppled, although the most concentrated damage was in the oldest section of the cemetery, where some of the graves were dug in the 1790s, Schmidt said.

Township officicials have been working to restore some of those stones for several years, as their budget allows, he said.

Police are investigating the incident but haven’t found any concrete evidence that will lead to any arrests.

“They’re working on it,” Faustino said.

Trending Video