UPDATE: Vandals hit cemetery and church in McMinn County
The McMinn County Sheriff's Office is searching for vandals who damaged street signs and defaced a tombstone.
UPDATE: The McMinn County Sheriff's Office is searching for vandals who damaged street signs and defaced a tombstone.
Investigators believe it happened sometime overnight Sunday during the holiday weekend. They say the vandals caused more than a thousand dollars in damages.
The suspects wreaked havoc, spray painting vulgar messages on businesses, street signs, and a church.
They also tagged a headstone in the Etowah cemetery that belongs to Cody green. The 19-year-old died in a crash near Old Mecca Pike in 2014.
The McMinn County Sheriff's Office is actively searching for those involved.
"It all happened the same night, some of them are an eighth of a mile a part of each other, so we would assume it's some misguided youth," McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said.
It's been a difficult couple of years for Cody Green's family. They declined to comment, but those close to the family said Cody’s grave was likely tagged randomly since it is close to the main road.
"Whether that tombstone was chosen at random or if it was meant specifically chosen as an insult to that young man or his family it's very troubling to me personally and makes us all the more vigilant to find out who did this,” Sheriff Joe Guy said.
A deputy was able to remove most of the paint from the stone. Others worked quickly to cover the messages.
“Some neighbors, when they saw it they were really outraged, they got some kind of spray paint to block everything they could out which we were very thankful for,” Janet Corn with Pleasant Grove Church said.
Sunday Pleasant Grove Church welcomed a new pastor, the same evening vandals struck.
Investigators have received several leads and are asking the community to be on lookout for any suspicious people or vehicles at area cemeteries and churches.
Sheriff Joe Guy says those involved could face fines and several charges including aggravated vandalism which is a felony.
If you have any information contact the McMinn County Sheriff's Office.
McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy posted a photo on his Instagram account of two vandalism incidents in Etowah Monday night.
Sheriff Guy's posts said Sunday night vandals hit the Etowah Cemetery and Pleasant Grove Church. Sheriff Guy added that Deputy Burt Jenkins was able to remove most of the paint from the grave stone.
He also asked the public to be on lookout for any suspicious people or vehicles at area cemeteries and churches.