Families outraged after vandals hit cemetery for third time

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. —

Families are upset after vandals hit a small historic cemetery in northern Forsyth County for the third time.

About 50 marked and unmarked graves date back to the mid-1800s on Highway 369, and now police say they're working to see if this is connected to other cemetery vandalism.

George Pirkle says his family's name is all over the cemetery and has been since the 1800s.

“This is my great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother,” Pirkle said.

Over the weekend, he found gravestones knocked over – many of them cracked in two. He says it's the third time this happened at the cemetery and it's also happening in other parts of the county.

“We know of eight other cemeteries in Forsyth County right now. In fact we made a list Saturday that had been vandalized in the last six months,” said Pirkle.

The cemetery is tucked back in the woods, but it is very close to several schools – an elementary, middle and high school – leading some to believe that young people are involved.

He and another historian showed Channel 2’s Erin Coleman an apparent teen hangout just a few hundred yards away, with apparent drug paraphernalia left behind.

“We do have a few leads that we're following up on and will continue to investigate this,” said Forsyth County Sheriff Robin Regan.

Forsyth deputies say they're also looking to see if this is connected to the most recent vandalism case at the James cemetery. Channel 2 Action News reported on it just two weeks ago.

“It’s just early in the investigation at this point they are very similar incidents,” said Regan.