Deputies: Two grave sites desecrated in Crystal Springs Cemetery

Posted at 10:06 AM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 17:38:32-04

Detectives in Pasco County are investigating the desecration of two grave sites at Crystal Springs Cemetery.

Deputies say an unknown suspect, possibly suspects, entered the cemetery and disturbed two separate grave sites between June 12, 2017 and June 21, 2017.

A 5 foot deep, 3 to 4 foot wide hole was dug directly on top of one grave site. The suspect(s) involved also attempted to remove a vault to another grave site.

"They were pretty determined, because they had to dig through a few feet of clay,” said Vietnam Veteran Chuck Flanagan who goes to Crystal Springs Cemetery every couple of weeks to mow the grass and pull weeds. “(They did it for) either thrills or trying to get bones or seeing if there were any valuables in any of the graves.”

PHOTOS | Two grave sites desecrated in Pasco County

Cindie Cornelius heads up the Crystal Springs Community Association and stated there was vandalism at the cemetery more than 25 years ago but it's been quite since.

“It’s not every day you find somebody’s digging a grave up,” Cornelis said.

Volunteers filled the hole back up, and put the stone back where it belongs.

For Chuck the desecration hits especially hard because just steps away from the vandalized graves is his wife Sharon.

“They are supposed to be able to rest in peace. They definitely didn’t let them rest in peace,” he said.

Deputies found tire tracks from whoever drove into the cemetery. They also found soda bottles and a piece of rope.

Investigators have not figured out if anything was removed from the grave sites as there are no security cameras at the cemetery.

Deputies are asking for the public's help in locating a possible suspect. Anyone with information should call the Pasco Sheriff’s Office at 727-847-8102.

The person who reported the vandalism told investigators that one of the tombstones had been vandalized prior to 1992 when she took over the cemetery as the association president. There is no record of who was buried in this specific grave site.