Cemetery memorials damaged, vandalism suspected

Unknown vandals destroyed part of a memorial structure at Hillcrest Cemetery Sept. 5, affecting part of a columbarium at the site. Supervisors are looking for the public’s help in finding the saboteurs.

Six doors on the columbarium – a small structure used to store urns and ashes – at Hillcrest were pried off, according to Dana Dadson, president of Dadson’s Funeral Home. The home looks after columbariums across the community, including the one at Hillcrest.

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“They’re just totally smashed. They’ve used some type of prying device to go back and literally pry the metal backing of the doors off the structure. They had to have been there for some time to get the doors off the locking device,” Dadson said.

“It would appear that this happened overnight - nobody had noticed anything yesterday.

When the cemetery maintenance crews arrived at work this morning, they said, ‘There must be a funeral because the doors are open.’ The doors were open - and smashed, laying on the ground.”

Dadson said the assailants did “significant damage” to the structure, exposing 12 individual niches to the elements. No cremated remains have gone missing from the site. Both the funeral home and the City of Flin Flon have contacted families whose loved ones are stored in the columbariums in question. The empty niches have been secured and replacement doors are on order.

“It’s really a stomach turning sight. We know all these people and their families. It’s just sickening. For anyone to do that, it’s just despicable,” said Dadson, who said other columbariums in Flin Flon had not been damaged.

“To the best of my knowledge, we have never had any vandalism at any of the cemeteries, ever. Since the cemeteries have been started in the 1930s, there has not been any vandalism to speak of. This is incredible.”

Dadson said he believed the damage was premeditated.

“They had to go there prepared to do this and they had to go there prepared to do this. They would have had to spend some time there to do it,” he said.

“It just seems weird, why they would do that.”

The incident at Hillcrest has been reported to Flin Flon RCMP. No arrests have been made in relation to the damage.

“We want to see the individuals brought to justice on this. This is just unbelievable, that anybody who would go and do such a thing. We don’t know how much the total [damage] will be until we talk to the manufacturer, but it will be significant,” Dadson said.

“It’s the actions of one or two individuals who have no respect for the families. I think this is a totally random issue and hopefully we’ll never see anything like it again. Somebody knows or somebody’s going to talk. If they know who it is, let us know.”

Dadson requested that anyone with information relating to the crime contact Flin Flon RCMP.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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