Driver runs over graves, headstones at Valley Cemetery

Driver runs over graves, headstones at Valley Cemetery

Who would go out of their way to vandalize a local cemetery? That’s the mystery brewing in Stevens county.

Someone drove a car over several graves and headstones at Valley Community Cemetery, causing damage but also heartache for Jamie Lovato, who lost her mom a few years ago.

“It’s heartbreaking. I can’t even explain it,” Lovato said. “It’s almost like losing my mom all over again.”

She was visiting her mother’s grave in early April when she noticed fresh dirt and three large holes, which were caused by the vehicle spinning out. Tire tracks and marks on a cement wall her family had installed show how the damage happened, but they can’t explain why someone would disrespect the dead.

Lovato said a man who lives above the cemetery told her he heard tires spinning and a motor revving in the middle of the night.

“Got his flashlight out and looked and he said it was an older model Suburban.”

Not only did the vehicle damage her mother’s grave, it also knocked a headstone off a cement base and broke off a ceramic angel’s wing, in addition to creating the three large holes, one which was directly above her mother’s grave.

Lovato and her father are struggling to understand why someone would do such a thing.

“My parents were married for over 50 years, so he’s, you know, she was his best friend so he’s kind of sad you know, but he doesn’t understand why they would do it.”

Lovato said it’s not the first time vandals have targeted the town cemetery.

“My dad made a big octagon box and we filled it full of succulents because we figured those wouldn’t die — and somebody decided they needed that.”

Lovato’s mother never enjoyed the dark, so the family installed solar lights around her grave. Even those were taken a few years ago.

“Somebody knows something.”

Lovato said word travels fast in Valley. She wants the driver to come forward and apologize. Lovato said if they don’t, someone out there who knows what happened, will.

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