Wagoner County Residents Upset After Finding Headstones Knocked Over

Wednesday, October 26th 2016, 10:26 pm
By: News On 6

People are upset after finding headstones knocked over in rural Wagoner County.

A video posted on Facebook showing the scene is getting a lot of attention, and now the sheriff’s department is investigating.

While passing by a cemetery near Highway 69 and Route 51-B, something different caught Rhonda Barnett's eye.

"We noticed it looked like there had been some trucks in the area," she said.

When she looked closer, she saw tombstones knocked over. Shocked, she took out her phone and posted a video to Facebook.

After a Wagoner County commissioner and the sheriff heard of the damage, they both started to investigate.

In the video, it points out that there are some large treads very close to some of the cemetery stones; however, investigators say they don't believe that's what caused the stones to be broken.

Sheriff Chris Elliot said investigators believe it's not vandalism, but possibly an accident or just the weather.

Clifford Marshall has family buried in the cemetery. He said a summer storm knocked limbs down and asked the county to remove them.

"Cause I had called and said 'it sure looks bad over there with all the trees broken down,’" he said.

Marshall said prior to the storm some stones were leaning.

On Monday, county crews cleaned up the limbs and a commissioner said they were careful not to knock into any stones.

But Barnett said it looks like some were swept up in the clean-up.

"If there were limbs down, storm damage, you don't come in and just drive all over the graves," she said.

Even though the initial investigation shows that the damage is not vandalism, the county commissioner and the sheriff said they'd like to clean-up the cemetery and fix the stones.