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Juvenile charged for grave-tipping
PERU- Last month it was discovered that the Demerritt Cemetery was vandalized after a neighbor of the property noticed more than a dozen head stones were tipped over, including some dating back to the Civil War. Last week, Sgt. Tim Holland of the Oxford County Sheriff's Office charged a 16-year-old boy in connection with the vandalism.
“It seems right now that he acted alone,” noted Holland. “But, I'm leaving no stone unturned.”
Possible eye witnesses noted seeing two girls and two boys walking near the cemetery around the time that the vandalism took place.
Holland stated that they are looking into all the leads they have, but as of right now, the juvenile did act alone. It appears that he may have been wearing a backpack that enabled him to “really put his back into it and was able to knock over the heavy stones,” noted Holland.
Town Clerk Vera Parent and a member of the Demerritt Cemetery Association, stated that there was more than $15,000 worth of damage to the stones and with no insurance policy to cover vandalism, it is the responsibility of the association to pay for the repairs.
“When we charge a family for perpetual care of the cemetery it falls on us to foot that bill,” noted Parent. “We haven't met yet to see what we're going to do about that cost, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Collette Monuments of Lewiston is handling the restoration and placement of the stones.