The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office (VPSO) is seeking public assistance in identifying the person or persons responsible for the Friday evening destruction of graves in the Elizabeth Chapel Cemetery located in the area of Jackson Road on Hwy. 117 just outside Leesville.

A witness indicated that he drove past the cemetery and observed two male subjects believed to be teenagers. They left the area before the witness could turn his vehicle around and get back to the location.

This incident caused significant damage in excess of 20 grave monuments – this is an estimated 80 percent of the cemetery. It appears that some headstones were pushed over, others smashed. Iron fences around headstones were also damaged by the vandals.

Elizabeth Chapel Cemetery is the burial place of many of Vernon Parish’s first elected officials. The earliest marked grave dates from 1860.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is diligently pursuing all leads in this case.

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for this damage.

Contact VPSO with any information about this incident at 337-238-1311, Detective Jerry Twyman at 337-238-7248, or Crime Stoppers at 337-239-2233.

Calls can remain anonymous as desired.