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$2,250 Reward Offered for Identifying Cemetery Vandals in Eastern Oregon
Cemetery Association of Oregon Contributes $1,000 to Reward Fund
By: Cemetery Association of Oregon
Sandy Smallwood, Secretary of Hilltop Memorial Cemetery Association in eastern Oregon, notified the Cemetery Association of Oregon (CAO) that more than 40 gravestones were vandalized at the cemetery the evening of May 2. The community in Nyssa, Oregon is reeling from the destruction. Smallwood had initially hoped insurance would cover at least some of the damage, but later learned that it won't.
An insurance company in Oregon stated that cemeteries of any size may want to review their policies. Coverage for vandalism to headstones and grave markers isn't an automatic coverage. They advise informing the underwriter, while writing the policy, that cemetery owners would like coverage for vandalism to headstones, grave markers, memorials, etc., and then ask them to show the language in the policy where it is covered. Policy language may reference a contract between the insured and their clients. Policies can allow for a sublimit for Property of Others and that number possibly could be increased. Another option is to schedule the headstones and grave markers in a blanket limit. This would have to be added to a policy. It is a good idea for cemeteries to review their policies and ask their insurance agents for clarification.
Under Oregon law, abuse of a memorial to the dead carries a maximum fine of $50,000. The CAO advises prosecuting to the full extent of the law. Nyssa Cemetery is listed with the state as an Oregon Historic Cemetery where the judge may apply restitution for repair to the sentence. (link: http://www.oregon.gov/
The CAO has pledged a $1,000 reward to the person who provides information leading to the apprehension of the vandals. The CAO is partnering with Three Rivers Crimestoppers (link: https://www.facebook.com/
The Argus Observer established a GoFundMe campaign, where people may make donations for restoration efforts. Donations may be made to the restoration fund here: https://www.gofundme.com/
The Cemetery Association of Oregon was founded in 1964, and its mission is to provide, promote, and safeguard the highest standards in the industry and enhance the service provided to families and their loved ones, while working towards improving the operational and regulatory practices of Oregon cemeteries.
Page Updated Last on: May 11, 2018