Nov 05, 2021
By Christine Ross
There’s shock and outrage for families of deceased relatives buried at two Belleville area cemeteries that were vandalized this week.
In total, 425 gravestones were defaced with spray paint at both St. James Roman Catholic Cemetery and Elmwood Cemetery. Eight of the 200 gravestones defiled with spray paint at St. James belonged to Canadian war veterans, as crews power wash the stones in time for Remembrance Day.
The senseless act of disrespect is the latest in a string of vandalism involving 715 gravestones at eight cemeteries from Kingston to Quinte West in the last several weeks.
Belleville and Kingston Police are working with the OPP on the investigation, saying there are similarities between the incidents.
The past president of the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals Mark Hopper says this is the worst vandalism he’s seen in decades.
Family members visiting St. James Roman Catholic Cemetery Thursday to check on their deceased loved ones’ graves found headstones painted with X and blue and yellow painted scribbles.
Belleville Police ask anyone with information to call 613-966-0882 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- 8477 (TIPS).