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ISP asking for public’s help in solving criminal mischief case

The Criminal Investigation Division of the Indiana State Police (ISP) in Ft. Wayne is looking for the public’s assistance in helping to solve a case involving the desecration and destruction of numerous tombstones from a rural LaGrange County cemetery, as well as damage to other properties in the northeastern part of the county causing several thousands of dollars worth of damage.

According to Detective Jeff Boyd, sometime during the dark hours on Sunday, Dec. 4, and into the early morning hours of Monday, Dec. 5, an unknown person or persons entered the Pretty Prairie Cemetery located in the area of CR 475E and CR 750N in rural Howe. Once on the property, they allegedly knocked over and damaged a dozen or more tombstones, some of which dated back to the 1800s. One was said to have been carried into the middle of the roadway where it was dropped to the ground and smashed, as it was found by an employee of the cemetery.

“What could be more appalling than a loved one’s final resting place becoming the target of such a cold, callous, heartless and disrespectful act, perpetrated by someone who has no regard for the property and memorials of others?” asked Boyd.

Other criminal acts of vandalism included a stolen mailbox which was used to break through a barn window on a completely separate property and the removal of two concrete letters from the Cedar Lake Golf Course, which were later found on the property of the Howe School. Boyd is asking anyone with any information to call the Indiana State Police at 1-800-552-0976, the LaGrange County Sheriff Department at (260) 463-7491 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-288-STOP (7867). Anonymous tips will be accepted.