Grounds Crew Repairs Vandalized Richmond Cemetery

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 7/19/2013 6:14 pm
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

Six weeks ago the grounds crew found the Richmond Cemetery vandalized.

The Grounds Director says the same thing happened a few years ago, but this time it was worse.  The damage added up to almost $200,000.  Someone quietly stepped in to help.

In a place home to hushed whispers.  There's a sense of hurry.  A feeling of unrest.

"yea, we wanted to fix it up," said Mike Rice, Richmond Cemetery Grounds Director.

A story we dug up.  It deserved to be told, not buried. 

"We're kindly the guardians of the people that's in here," said Rice.

He gets paid to take care of this sacred ground, but this is not in his job description.

"You think when you come to the cemetery you're at rest, but evidently that's not the case," said Rice.

Last month Rice came to work, and this is what he saw.

"Looked like a tornado had been through it," said Rice.

An estimated $168,000 in destruction.  No lead.

"There's somebody out there that does know, and if they had family in here, I know they've got a conscience.  You can just think on that a while," said Rice.

He takes it personally.  This isn't just a job.  It's home...To Mom and Dad. 

You can understand the pain in Rice, and every other loved one who wants to find the person who did this.

"They would've probably hung them if they could've got them.  It'd been that simple," said Rice.

This cemetery is a community too.  There's families from all over this area, and you know about everybody around here has somebody buried in this cemetery," said Rice.

In Rice's work you get used to quiet.  So it's completely in-character what he did next. 

"Felt it was the right thing to do," said Rice.

He went to the cemetery board, and asked for something none of the residents here have-time.

For 6 days straight, Rice and his crew worked extra.  Few knew.

"Did different sizes of em, but we had two, or three that was about all we could do to handle," said Rice.

It's impossible for his work to go unnoticed, but his story would have, if Rice had his way.

Just a few stones still need work. 

The cost?  Free.

The caretaker?  As silent as the people who stay there. 

Police have no leads in the case.  The cemetery offers a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
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