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UPDATE: Idaho Falls Police identify persons of interest in cemetery vandalism

Update 5/10/17 12:00 pm: Idaho Falls Police say they were able to identify the teens after a mother recognized her daughter in the photo. Read more here.

Update 5/10/17 10:25 am: Idaho Falls Police say they have identified the teens in the pictures that were released last night. Because they are juveniles, their names are not being released at this time. A full list of charges will be released when arrests have been made.

At the request of Idaho Falls Police, we have removed the pictures of the teen from our website.

Original Story: Idaho Falls police are asking the public to submit any information they may have that will help identify the person or persons responsible for damaging approximately 100 headstones at the Rose Hill Cemetery last weekend.

“In the 30 years I’ve worked at the parks department I’ve never seen worse damage done,” Assistant Superintendent of Parks and Cemeteries Ronnie Campbell said.

On Tuesday, the Idaho Falls Police Department acquired photos from Local News 8/KIDK Eyewitness News 3 after a viewer provided them to reporter Chris Oswalt. The pictures showed several young women in the cemetery.

The viewer says they were acting suspiciously. The Idaho Falls Police Department says the women are persons of interest and not considered suspects at this point.

Idaho Falls police originally said the vandalism occurred at about 3:30 a.m. on Sunday; however, with the new photos, police now say they’re looking into the possibility of this crime occurring Sunday afternoon. Cemetery staff reported the damage to police when they arrived for work Monday.

“I hope they are caught. I hope they are caught or the culprits definitely are,” Campbell said. “What they have done to these families loved ones is, like I said, a tragedy.”

The vandals damaged approximately 100 headstones causing thousands of dollars in damage. The Idaho Falls Police Department says those responsible could face felony charges. A few headstones were also reported missing. The oldest headstone damaged was from 1894.

If you have any information regarding the identity of the individual(s), or where they can be located, call dispatch at 208-529-1200 or Crime Stoppers at -208-522-1983. Reference case number 2017-15919.

The cemetery is owned by the City of Idaho Falls and maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department. Cemetery employees are notifying all families of the damage. To inquire about a grave site that may have been affected, contact Rose Hill Cemetery at 208-612-8488.

Arrangements are also underway to start a fund to assist in replacing headstones.

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