The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 24, 2012

UPDATE: Hatchett Cemetery struck again – this time caught on camera

By Karen Middleton
For The News Courier

— Three times and this vandal might have struck out.

Friday night, the already twice-vandalized Hatchett Cemetery in the Beulah Land community in southwest Limestone County was struck again.

But this time the act was caught on camera, according to Sheriff Mike Blakely.

“We installed two cameras after last week’s vandalism,” said Blakely. “He stole one of the cameras but missed the other and we got a photo of him.”

Blakely said his department is looking for a photo enhancement computer program to bring the suspect’s features into clearer focus, but although grainy, he feels there’s enough clarity to identify the culprit.

“He has very distinctive hair and he was possibly riding a motorcycle,” said Blakely. “I’m down here today (Saturday) showing this photo around to see if anyone recognizes him. I think if anyone knows this individual, they will recognize him.”

Blakely said Friday night’s vandalism broke what has become a pattern in the vandalism.

“The first time two weeks ago was on a Thursday night, last week it was a Thursday night and last night it was a Friday night,” said Blakely.

Apparently, even vandals take Thanksgiving off – if indeed it was the same person who struck all three times.

Dismayed and disheartened members of Ezekiel M.B. Church, who have many loved ones buried in the approximately 200 gravesites in Hatchett Cemetery, have conducted workdays to help repair the damage wrought by the last two senseless acts of vandalism.

They must now find strength to return once more to the grim task of repairing the desecration inflicted on this final resting place of their relatives and friends, wondering why Hatchett Cemetery was once more targeted for destruction.

The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. To make a report about the vandalism, call 256-232-0111. A reward is being offered for information or leads by the Sheriff’s Office.