Visiting their family plot in Kingshill Cemetery, a St. Croix family found their parents’ tomb vandalized: their carefully placed flowers strewn all over, the vases shattered, the metal nameplates bent down. On closer inspection they found the engraved faces of their parents and mother’s first name chipped off. She’d passed not quite a year ago.
Mireya Bermudez, whose parents moved to St. Croix from Vieques in 1951, said she suspected someone with a grudge against her sister damaged the family’s plot Saturday night.
“The person is angry with my sister. But why take it upon the grave,” Bermudez said. “He’s not getting back at her. He’s doing harm to all of us.”
She’s asked the police to look into it. The Department of Public Works, which is responsible for public graves, is also investigating. She’s also reached out to the Senate. A Public Works official said such vandalism is unusual.
“My brother went to the graveyard,” Bermudez said. “We usually go every two weeks. And he found the grave vandalized.”
She took photos and picked up the pottery shards with tweezers to preserve any fingerprints of the desecrator. Vandalism isn’t a serious crime. It is deeply disturbing to a family still in mourning, however, Bermudez said.
“That hurts. It makes people angry,” she said. “They chipped off my mom and my dad’s faces.”
Bermudez said she wants the cemetery gates once again closed at 6 p.m.
“Now it’s like a highway with people crossing through there. The walls are being broken,” she said. “I want people to know, to be aware, so when people are going through there people can report it.”