NewsLocal News

Actions

13 military graves defaced at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Wellsville

The plaques bearing the names of World War II veterans disappeared last week.
Posted at 7:02 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 19:02:29-04

WELLSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Sunday, June 12th, someone defaced multiple graves of veterans on the property of the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Wellsville.

WHAT HAPPENED?

"I can't believe this happened. I'm devastated," said Chris Martelle, whose grandfather's headstone was one of the 13 desecrated.

The plaques, which typically bronze, were pried off the heavy-duty headstones.

"I have no idea why. Why would someone do this? It doesn't make sense why someone would steal from a veteran who can't do anything," said Martelle.

IS THERE COMMUNITY SUPPORT?

The local American Legion Post in Wellsville, the Morrison Hayes Post, has organized a reward for anyone who has any information on the culprit.

Right now, that fund is up to $13,000.

"Step up. If you know something, say something. Please. Help out a vet that can't help himself," said Brent Roberts, the organizer of the Post and fund.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE CULPRIT?

New York State Police tells 7 News that in this specific situation, a culprit would typically be charged with:

  • Vandalism
  • Criminal Trespassing
  • Larceny (Grand or Petty, depending on the amount of money stolen)

These charges could put someone behind bars for a minimum of four years.

HOW CAN I HELP?

Anyone with any information at all is asked to reach out to Wellsville Police. The number is (585) 593-5600.