Police in Kent County are investigating damage to several grave markers in a cemetery Monday afternoon.

At least three grave markers were toppled over in the East Nelson Cemetery off in the 8500 block of 18 Mile Road east of Cedar Springs. 

Kent County Undersheriff John Hess said his department was told about the vandalism on Monday afternoon.

"Someone had gone in and knocked down the markers," said Hess.  "They had destroyed and defaced some of the military flags that were used and soiled them and soiled the graves."

Some of the grave markers in this cemetery have been here since the late 1800's.  One, knocked on it's side, marked the death of a soldier in 1875.

Police say it likely happened Friday night.

A newer marking was knocked over face down, covering up who it belonged to.  It was also covered with dirt and broken pieces from a flower pot.

A third marking had a statue of an angel destroyed.  Ed Fisher came by the cemetery to visit a close friend, lost to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

He said he was relieved to see no apparent damage to his friend's headstone but said his heart goes out to the families who have to deal with these acts of vandalism.

"That's somebody's grandma or grandpa or whoever," said Fisher. "They put a lot of time and effort into the stone and to have somebody come out and just mess with it and mess it up for everyone else?"

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff's Department at 616-632-6125.