COLUMBIA — The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is investigating recent vandalism to tombstones dating back to the mid-19th century at Far West Cemetery west of Centralia.
Law enforcement officials received a report on July 4 from Fonda Smith, who was visiting the cemetery and noticed that 14 tombstones had been toppled, Detective Tom O'Sullivan said. The neighbor last visited the cemetery on May 30, and the vandalism is believed to have occurred after that day. O'Sullivan suspected that the vandalism occurred all at one time.
The cemetery is located at 20500 N. Barnes Road in a sparsely populated area. There are several old cemeteries similar to Far West Cemetery throughout Boone County and rural areas, and O'Sullivan was unsure who owns the grounds.
Smith planned to set the stones upright again, O'Sullivan said.
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 875-8477.