HENDERSON COUNTY, TEXAS (KLTV) - The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is searching for vandals, who they say destroyed headstones at the historic Goshen cemetery.
The office released a statement on Thursday about their investigation. They said the vandals destroyed 35 headstones and caused $122,500 in damages to the cemetery, which is located near the city of Eustace.
The sheriff’s office said they were alerted about the vandalism on Wednesday at about 8 p.m. when two cemetery board members reported the damage to the office.
Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse reported the office is actively investigating the case and is in the process of interviewing people. Hillhouse also said he would be contacting Crime Stopper in order to offer a reward for the arrest of the suspects.
The press release reports the suspects will be facing felony criminal mischief charges for the vandalism.
“I don’t intend to let this stand,” Hillhouse said in the press release. “For the sake of the families with kinfolk buried there, I want these criminals caught and prosecuted."
According to the press release, the Goshen cemetery is a historical site that is the last physical evidence of the historic town of Goshen. The town was established after the Civil War and served as a marketing center and rest stop on the Chisholm Trail.
There are about 450 graves at the Goshen Cemetery, with many of them unmarked. The first documented burial was 1869, according to the press release. Pioneer settlers and veterans of various wars are among those buried in mark graves.
The press release stated that according to local legend, the cemetery was found when a nomadic cowboy died while working at a nearby ranch. His burial place is believed to be marked with a large grave and stone fence.