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Vehicle destroys headstones in family cemetery

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HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Tombstones were destroyed in a Hinds county cemetery sometime this weekend, and now the search is on for those responsible. A family on their way to church Sunday stumbled upon the heart wrenching scene.

They believe a vehicle plowed through the cemetery late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Marilyn Lilley is devastated by the sight of damage to the headstone of her husband Jack. Her marker is beside his in the family plot at Tinnin Community Cemetery.

"My husband is retired from Clinton P. D. after about 25 years and he passed away in 2006 from stage four lung cancer, and this is all I have left now is this cemetery," said Lilley.

A vehicle crashed through the wrought iron fence surrounding the cemetery and leveled grave markers dating back to the early 1900's.

There are more than 60 graves stones in the family plot with dates in the late 1800's. Five headstones were destroyed.

"I come out at least several times a month and I put flowers you know on those three graves, on his grandparents, on his dad's. so you know it's just , it's just very traumatic to the whole family," said the 66 year old.

The cemetery is in a curve on Clinton-Tinnon Road at James Road.

What appears to be a portion of a front bumper remains near the broken grave markers, and it stopped just short of a propane tank. The gate entering the cemetery was also flattened.

Deep tire tracks remain in the soft mud.

Lilley said repairs to the headstones would be quite an expense for the family.

"His grandparents' markers are made out of marble which is just we won't ever be able to replace them and the cost would just be prohibitive," said Lilley.

The Hinds County Sheriff's Department is investigating and said although the driver caused major damage and left the scene, they only face malicious mischief charges.

"We're hoping that somebody will have a conscious and they'll come forward and say I did it," added Lilley.

Please contact the Hinds County Sheriff's Department at 601-968-6731 if you know anything about this cemetery destruction.

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