Someone blasted red paint over several headstones at Fairview Cemetery in Old Colorado City, shocking at least one family who visited over Father’s Day weekend.
Brian Ziegler of Denver said he was flabbergasted when he and his mother arrived at the cemetery Saturday morning and saw several headstones splattered with red paint, including his father’s.
“My father’s had the circle with the star — a pentagram. It looks as if they did that to several of the larger stones and did a blood bath on a couple of them.”
Ziegler and his mother visit the cemetery at 1000 S. 26th St. every year over the Father’s Day weekend to pay respect. But Ziegler said he wished he had known about the damage before he brought his 80-year-old mother there. He said he immediately called the cemetery, but no one answered. So he called police.
Ziegler said he flagged down a security guard at the cemetery and was told the damage happened about two weeks earlier.
“I was told they were very well aware of the damage,” he said. “I would’ve never brought my 80-year-old mother here.”
Police received a report of the vandalism June 11, and a victim filed another report Sunday.
Although the cemetery gates are locked after hours, “all you’d have to do is jump a fence,” said supervisor Jody Sanchez-Skamarak, and no security cameras or guards are in place.
At least eight headstones were marred. The families are responsible for cleaning them, Sanchez-Skamarak confirmed, because headstones are considered their property.
In this case though, she said, she felt a personal need to take care of the issue, especially for any deceased who don’t have family around.
“Typically our only responsibility is to maintain the grounds,” she said. “In this case, I felt a responsibility to step in.”
She said she is working with a local monument company to properly remove the paint, and she encourages victims not to clean them on their own, as certain chemicals can harm the stone.
Ziegler said he is worried about the 100-year-old headstones because the paint already appeared to have soaked into the rock. His father’s memorial is made of redstone, and he fears the paint will leave stains.
“I was sick to my stomach,” he said. “I can’t do this by myself, and people need to know.”