Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

SurfKY News Investigates Cemetery Vandalism Reports

grave1 500

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (6/29/13) – Over the past two weeks, SurfKY News has received multiple reports from individuals stating that they believed that tombstones were being removed from Fuquay Cemetery, an 1800’s era grave site located on Shamrock Drive in Madisonville.After an in-depth investigation into the situation, evidence points towards the fact that no stones have been removed from the cemetery.

Originally, SurfKY News assigned the story to an investigative reporter. The reporter began by visiting the cemetery and taking note that there were only five obvious tombstones/markers, with several other rocks that could possibly have been grave markers as well. While on the scene, the reporter noted that several tree limbs had been removed from trees surrounding the cemetery.
 
From there, the reporter contacted Asplundh, a statewide Kentucky tree-trimming service that had recently done some work around the cemetery. A director of the service told the reporter that, as far as he knew, his crews had not actually altered anything in the cemetery and had only worked around it.
 
At this point, the owner of the land surrounding the cemetery, Frank Versnick, was contacted in reference to his activity on the land. Mr. Versnick informed the reporter that he had been mowing in and around the cemetery for years, and that no tombstones had been removed from the property, to his knowledge. Versnick did state that he had removed a wrought-iron fence from around the cemetery, but stated that the fence was not originally part of the cemetery. Versnick said that the fence was actually placed there by the prior owner to protect it from large exotic animals that he had in the field. Versnick went on to say that he had plans of planting bushes and/or shrubs around the cemetery to beautify it.

grave2 500

To verify the information provided by the aforementioned interviewees, the investigative reporter then contacted several state and local officials in reference to the history of the Fuquay Cemetery. The majority of those contacted had no knowledge that the cemetery existed, and no records of those buried there.
 
Finally, after consulting local genealogical experts, the reporter located a book that was published in 1970, entitled, “Hopkins County Cemeteries.” Within this book was a list of each tombstone located in the cemetery at the time of publication. After revisiting the cemetery, the reporter found that the five tombstones listed in 1970 were still present today, the only difference being that one of them had fallen at some point over the last 40 years.
 
In summary, it appears that no tombstones have been taken from the cemetery at this time.
 
On a side note, Kentucky law states the following in reverence to violating graves…
 
KRS (Kentucky Revised Statutes) 525.115 - Violating Graves
 
A person is guilty of violating graves when he/she intentionally:
1)  Mutilates the graves, monuments, fences, shrubbery, ornaments, grounds, or buildings in or enclosing any cemetery or place of sepulture; or
2)  Violates the grave of any person by destroying , removing, or damaging the headstone or footstone, or the tomb over the enclosure protecting any grave; or
3)  Digs into or plows over or removes any ornament, shrubbery, or flower placed upon any grave or lot.
 
The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to ordinary maintenance and care of a cemetery nor the removal and relocation of graves pursuant to procedures authorized by and in accordance with applicable statutes.
 
Violating graves is a Class D felony.

grave3 500

SurfKY News would like to thank the Hopkins County Historical Society, Genealogical Society, Madisonville Police Department and Frank Versnick for assisting and being generally helpful in this case.

J.L. Graham
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

Stock Report

1 DOW 16,985.61
+78.99 (0.47%)    
2 S&P 1,972.83
+9.12 (0.46%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,419.03
+27.57 (0.63%)    
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Two Arrest Made in Marion

MARION, Ky. (7/8/14) — On Monday, July 7, 2014 after receiving information from a confidential source, the Pennyrile… Read More

Graham Man Arrested on Several Charges

GRAHAM, Ky. (7/8/14) — A Graham man was arrested on several charges including possession of marijuana and possession of… Read More
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 08, 2014 9683

UPDATE: Arrest Made in Shooting Death of…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 07, 2014 5489

Madisonville Police Bust Prostitution…

in Top Stories by Major Chris Taylor
July 07, 2014 4891

Parents Arrested for Leaving Minors in Car

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 06, 2014 4857

Hanson Man's Body Discovered in House…

in Top Stories by Information provided by Det. Shawn Bean
July 07, 2014 2737

MPD Responds to Fight, Drug Arrest Results

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 07, 2014 5489

Madisonville Police Bust Prostitution…

in Top Stories by Major Chris Taylor
July 07, 2014 4891

Parents Arrested for Leaving Minors in Car

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 07, 2014 2737

MPD Responds to Fight, Drug Arrest Results

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 09, 2014 2728

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Alleged…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 08, 2014 1858

Mother Arrested at Days Inn Bar for Child…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 07, 2014 1139

Section of Kentucky 1456/Newbolt Road in…

in News by Keith Todd
July 08, 2014 1057

Nashville Predators are Coming to the…

in News by Brittni Bunn
July 08, 2014 956

Owensboro Police Department Reports…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
July 08, 2014 923

Owensboro Neighborhood Alliance Meeting…

in News by Abby Shelton
July 07, 2014 548

Owensboro Man Charged with Attempted…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 08, 2014 9683

UPDATE: Arrest Made in Shooting Death of…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 07, 2014 2372

Life of Muhlenberg Son Hank Becker to be…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
July 08, 2014 1941

Two Vehicle Collision with Injuries

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 06, 2014 1728

Lake Malone Park Enjoys Busy Fourth of…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
July 07, 2014 1438

Business Spotlight - Red Door Trading…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03