Cemetery vandals strike south Tipton County

By Jason Miles - bio | email

DRUMMONDS, TN (WMC-TV) - Residents of Drummonds are upset because their community cemetery has fallen prey to vandals.

The vandalism happened at the Poplar Grove Cemetery in the 200 block of Quito Drummonds Road in south Tipton County.

The president of the Cemetery Association, Vernon Pairmore, was furious when he discovered the vandalism.

"There's something wrong with somebody that would vandalize a cemetery...they got a problem," Pairmore said.

Pairmore has experience in the cemetery monument business.  He recently retired from making gravestones.

Pictures of the damage show that two monuments were knocked over, one was pushed out of the ground, and one was completely stolen off its base.

"It was probably three to three and a half feet tall, about six to eight inches square, and had a ball on top of it," Pairmore said.

Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley was not amused.

"It's totally gone," he said. "They took the monument and something needs to be said about the mental capacity doing that sort of thing - it's stupid and evil."

Chumley said the vandalism occurred between December 1 and December 12 of last year.  He believes there's more than one person responsible.

"What would anyone want with a tombstone to carry home and put up in the garage? What are they going to do with that?" he asked.

Graves at Poplar Grove cemetery date back to the 1850's.  Cemetery caretakers say there are no living relatives to replace the grave markers that were stolen or vandalized.

"Cemetery doesn't have a gate so people drive in and I think there's been some people in there at night," Pairmore said.

Deputies have several leads in this case, but haven't made any arrests.  If you have any information about this case of cemetery theft and vandalism, call the Tipton County Sheriff's department at 901-475-4300.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.