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Second gravesite in Mecklenburg tampered with

SoVaNow.com / March 28, 2014
Deputies in Mecklenburg County discovered a second desecrated grave Tuesday afternoon, after beginning a search of the nearly 200 church cemeteries and graveyards throughout the county. This one at the Restview RZUA Church Cemetery in La Crosse was the final resting place for a 7-month-old child.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Bobby Hawkins ordered the search after discovering a defiled grave in the Canaan Cemetery near Brodnax. A caller, on Monday, claimed that it appeared as if someone tampered with a gravesite at the Canaan Cemetery, and asked the Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

Since both bodies were interned more than a decade ago, Hawkins said, “We’re still trying to determine if anything has been taken.” The grave in Canaan Cemetery contains the remains of a 44-year-old woman who died in Georgia in 2000, and was buried in the family plot. The second grave holds the remains of a seven-month-old boy who died in 1999.

Hawkins said, as far as he knows, there is no connection between the two gravesites. He and his staff are scratching their heads as to why someone would defile these graves.

The call, notifying deputies that a grave in Canaan Cemetery may have been defiled, came in around 5 p.m. Monday. When Investigators arrived at the scene, they saw that dirt around the gravesite was displaced. It was not until deputies dug down to the casket, that they were able to confirm, “in fact, the casket had been compromised,” Hawkins said.

The Virginia State Police were called in, and Hawkins contacted Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts, alerting him to their discovery. Roberts quickly dispatched deputies to begin searching graveyards throughout Brunswick County, while Mecklenburg County deputies conducted a similar search in this county.

The families of the victims have been notified, and the case remains under investigation.

Hawkins is asking the public to assist in his search efforts. “If you have a loved one buried at a cemetery go check and make sure there is no tampering or disturbance of their grave sites have occurred. If you discover a problem please call the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number 434-738-6171 to report your findings.”

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call the number listed above or Crime Solvers at 877-676-8477. Remember, you do not have to give your name when reporting a crime.

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