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Historic gravestones damaged at 2 Westchester cemeteries

Police say over a dozen historic headstones were damaged at two Westchester cemeteries this weekend.

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2021, 10:25 AM

Updated 1,117 days ago

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Police say over a dozen historic headstones were damaged at two Westchester cemeteries this weekend.
News 12 was told that a woman used a harsh chemical to create molds of tombstones at Sleepy Hollow's Old Dutch Church Cemetery.   The woman was told to leave, and she did, but headed over to the historic Sparta Cemetery in Ossining where she did the same thing...causing more damage.
The stones are now tarnished with a white film that may be impossible to remove. "Several that had this white film over the tops and it was evident that the exact same thing happened to them," says Jane Botticeli, president of the Ossining Historic Cemetery.
Some of the headstones are over 200 years old, dating back to the Revolutionary War. The Old Dutch Church Cemetery is where the Headless Horseman chased Ichabod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
It's unclear what chemical agent was used, and if it could cause the stones to crack or fall apart.
"It's more than distressing. It's heartbreaking that somebody would put these really historic, important stones...and not just to our church, but our whole community and really the literary world, to put this at risk it's really heartbreaking for us," says Pastor Jeff Gargano, of the Old Dutch Church.
News 12 was told police identified a person from out-of-state who may be responsible, but without evidence or a confession, they cannot charge them. 
Without a conviction, the cemeteries will have to pay to repair the stones. Any repairs that are done will cost an estimated $500 per headstone. The problem is no one knows what chemical agent was used and if it'll cause the stones to crack or fall apart.
GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for damages. 



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