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Waco police offer reward for cemetery vandals

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TWC News: Waco police offer reward for cemetery vandals
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Waco police are working to catch those responsible for a massive amount of damage in a historic cemetery.

Waco’s Oakwood Cemetery serves as the final resting place for three Texas governors, one of which is Richard Coke, who was elected during Reconstruction.

For descendent John Coke, the cemetery is part of his family’s history.

"I had had a gut feeling when this happened that the statue back here—which we came out to see all the time—would have been involved," he said.

David Evans is the third generation of his family to manage Oakwood Cemetery.

"There's never been anything of this magnitude here,” he said. “Over the years there's probably been one here, one there, but nothing like this."

More than forty headstones were toppled and several hundred-year-old statues were broken, including the bust of a Coke family member.

"It made me feel kind of sick to even see,” Coke said. "I don't understand what people get out of doing something like this, I really don't."

Damage of this kind is typically up to the family to repair, but cemetery managers say donations have been coming in to help catch the vandals.

"It’s supposed to be a special place, a dignified place for burial,” Evans said. “Then you see it disrespected in a manner that doesn't make sense."

Authorities are offering a reward of nearly $4,000 for tips which lead to the arrest and prosecution of the vandals behind this crime.

"There's nothing more that I would like than to see those people brought to justice," Coke said.

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