Family in Dekalb County says someone vandalized their loved ones’ graves

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. - A family in Rainsville is upset after they say someone vandalized the grave markers of their loved ones.

"We try to come here once a month," Sonya Keith said.

Sonya lost her daughter Amber to cancer nine years ago. "I've raised her knowing who her momma is and she knows her momma in heaven loves her," Sonya said.

"It's kind of like my quiet spot. When I come here, I like to talk to her and tell her I love her," Amber's daughter Aubrie Mahon said.

The family visits Amber's grave often at Kirk Memorial Cemetery. But earlier this month, they got a rude surprise.

"She called me hysterically crying," Sonya said.

One of Amber's friends discovered someone had defaced the grave markers of Amber and her father James, writing obscenities in permanent marker, also writing on the artificial flower bouquet. Sonya immediately called police. She says Kirk Memorial staff documented the damage, but she says the marker may not be an easy cleanup.

"I'm kind of scared to mess with it because all of the bronze that's on it and that it'll deface it worse," Sonya said.

A Rainsville police detective tells WHNT News 19 they say they have a pretty good idea who vandalized the graves. They're still testing some of the evidence they found. But they say they do plan to make an arrest.

"I need a handwriting analysis and we'll have him," Sonya said.

For now, the family says they'll clean up the graves as best they can.

So far, Rainsville police haven't arrested anyone in connection with the case. The vandal would likely face a criminal mischief charge.

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