Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

May 17, 2013

Alleged cemetery vandal arrested and charged

Second suspect sought

Rob Cox
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — A Greensburg youth has been arrested and charged as an adult for a costly incident of vandalism at Greensburg’s South Park Cemetery April 23.

According to a police report filed in Decatur County Circuit Court, Joshua Lee Waller, 17, faces a single D Felony count of Cemetery Mischief.

Police are also seeking a second suspect in the case — also a youth. According to the report, the second suspect allegedly left town before police could speak with him, and it was unclear if he too would be charged or charged as an adult. As such, because he’s a minor, the Daily News is withholding the second suspect’s name.

On April 26, the court report states, the investigating officer tracked down a lead based on a GPD suspicious person call outside the cemetery from the early hours of April 23. The investigating officer ultimately interviewed four witnesses at the Greensburg Police Department on April 26.

According to the first witness, himself a minor, on April 22, he and Waller and another friend “went to the Quarry Hole to go fishing.”

According to South Park Cemetery Office Manager Joyce Sebastian, the Quarry Hole in question is adjacent to the south end of the cemetery.

In the court report, the first witness states that, near the end of the fishing trip, Waller and the second suspect left the Quarry Hole to visit the graveyard, stating they’d heard it was haunted.

The first witness left the Quarry Hole sometime later, entering the cemetery to allegedly find several tombstones already damaged.

After looking at some of the headstones, the first witness immediately realized that the damage was significant and that “some of the headstones are irreplaceable.”

Waller and the other suspect, the report states, allegedly admitted to damaging the stones and stated they’d done it “because they were bored” and because they were trying to “arouse the dead.”

The first witness reportedly left the graveyard to visit a relative’s grave at St. Mary’s because “he did not want to be around since they were kicking the tombstones.”

Witness number three from April 26, who's also the mother of the first witness, stated that both Waller and the second suspect allegedly "admitted to her what they did."

The other two witnesses from April 26 described allegedly hearing Waller and the second suspect discuss the cemetery incident and being told varying stories by both suspects about what happened.

The report states that witnesses also claimed that the second suspect absolved the first witness from any involvement in the crime.

The second suspect also allegedly stated, according to witness number three in the report, that he and Waller returned to South Park Cemetery later in the evening, after “everyone went to bed,” and “did more damage at the cemetery.”

Waller himself was interviewed by police April 27 with his mother in attendance and denied committing the vandalism.

Twenty-one headstones were damaged in the incident, with the total cost of repairs being $5,200, according to the report.

Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011