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Grounds of historic cemetery dismantled, destroyed by vandals

Boutell Cemetery hit by vandals; headstones topped

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. – The Boutell Cemetery is a final resting place, dating back to the 1800s.

A brand new Christmas wreath placed at the grave of a Vietnam Veteran proves it may be old but is not forgotten. Etched in the headstones are names of families, members of the community, even Civil War hero's. All buried in an area so peaceful, all you can hear are the leafs under your feet. But these days, resting in peace in Cohoctah Township, comes at a cost.

"People who do this kind of act don't realize there are actually people in the ground," said Karen Thurner, of Cohoctah Township.

Thurner maintains the cemetery and early this month, just after Halloween, found the historic grounds dismantled and destroyed.

"The oldest headstones are made of lime stone and this time were all knocked over, cracked and busted up," Thurner described.

It's not the first time vandals have left their mark. There are boulders that line the cemetery off of Jones Road. Why? The township put them there to prevent people from smashing their cars purposely into the headstones, but even that wasn't enough.

"It hasn't stopped anyone," said Thurner. "They just come in by foot now and we find the same damage that's been done before."

Now people like Karen need all the help they can get, to not only repair the damage, but stop those who are causing it.

"It's just sad," Thurner said. "People have no respect for history or the land that's there."

If you have any information on the vandals your asked to call the Livingston County Sheriff's department or The Michigan State Police Brighton Post.