DOWAGIAC, Mich. – A Dowagiac cemetery has been vandalized, and police now have a suspect.
Around 10 a.m. Monday, a city crew was in Riverside Cemetery for maintenance and cleanup. The crew found several headstones that had been damaged and called police.
Officers found 61 headstones in all had been damaged or removed from their bases. A number of flowerpots had also been damaged.
Initial damage estimates were in excess of $16,000.
A 19-year-old Dowagiac man was arrested and booked in the Cass County Jail Tuesday for the crime. Police say the teen confessed to vandalizing Riverside Cemetery and the Elks Golf Course. Damage at the Elks happened on November 27. Authorities say the suspect also made a false report to Dowagiac Police Sunday night in connection with the cemetery damage.
The teen's name is not being released pending his arraignment in Cass County District Court.
Police say the vandalism was done throughout the entire cemetery and is believed to have taken place between Sunday night and early Monday morning.