More than 100 headstones have been damaged at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, authorities said Sunday.
WPVI reported that Aaron Mallin discovered the damage Sunday morning when he arrived at Mount Carmel Cemetery to visit his father’s grave. Police said that they received a call from a man that three of his relatives’ headstones had been knocked over and damaged.
“The cemetery was inspected and approximately 100 additional headstones were found to be knocked over,” apparently sometime after dark Saturday, a police spokeswoman said in a statement. A criminal mischief-institutional vandalism investigation will be conducted by the police Northeast Detectives Division, she said.
“I’m hoping it was maybe just some drunk kids. But the fact that there’s so many, it leads one to think it could have been targeted,” Mallin told the station. “It’s just very heartbreaking.”
Stacy Silver told Philly.com that the tombstones of her mother and great-grandmother had been toppled to the ground.
“Your stomach just drops,” Silver said. “I mean it’s just horrible.”
Police did not say whether they had any suspects in the case or whether they knew of a motive.
“It’s criminal. This is beyond vandalism,” Capt. Shawn Thrush told Philly.com. “It’s beyond belief.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia lists Mount Carmel as a Jewish cemetery in northeastern Philadelphia. Philly.com reported that the cemetery…