'Disturbing and sad': Hundreds of headstones damaged at historic Moncton cemetery
Over 35,000 people are buried at Moncton's historic Elmwood Cemetery, which has recently experienced incidents of vandalism.
At least 250 tombstones – some weighing over 130 kilograms – have been tipped over. A family crypt has also been the target as thieves have allegedly tried to pry off its copper metal roof.
Ian Gunn, the cemetery's president, says some the vandals could be neighbourhood kids, but he thinks the would-be thieves are semi-pros.
"They probably lifted that and said, 'Hey, that should be a piece of cake,' not realizing that every two inches there's a long nail in there. They gave up after a bit. They tried twice I would say, the damage there is just unbelievable," says Gunn.
Kim Sneath's father is buried inside the not-for-profit cemetery. She says the incidents left her upset, so she created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the roof and tombstone repairs.
"It's disturbing and sad and it's not really what our community is founded on. My dad worked with Humlewsun Lions for years, and that was all about community," Sneath says.
Similar to Sneath, Gunn says he was heartbroken to see the tombstones tipped over during the winter and spring when many didn't attend the cemetery.
"It really rips my heart out. It's disgusting. When you look at it, you're talking memories here, these are people who were honoured within our community," he says.
Money raised through the fundraiser will go towards fixing the fallen tombstones, and looking at the repair of older stones in the cemetery.
Anyone concerned about a vandalized tombstone should visit the cemetery and, if damaged, call the officer to discuss steps to have it repaired.