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Vandals targeting graves in Hardin County
HARDIN COUNTY-By: Leslie Rangel
A visit to a cemetery became an even more difficult experience this week for two families.
They discovered vandals had stolen items from their children's graves at Village Mills Cemetery in Hardin County.
A mother quietly re-decorates her son's grave.
"The globe with all the pictures and then there was a little zip-lock baggy with pictures, they took that," Deborah Creekmore, mother of one of the victim's graves says.
It's been a difficult year for Creekmore, her son, Dustin, died in April.
He was burned in an Exxon Mobil fire and explosion in Beaumont.
"I finally got the guts to come out here and it was hard, and when I first came out here and I saw that, it angered me and it broke my heart cause I'm like just give us a little peace, that's all were asking, just let my son rest in peace," Creekmore says.
The family took these pictures of what the graves looked like before vandals struck Sunday night or Monday morning.
She says the thieves walked up to her son's grave at Village Mills Cemetery in Hardin County.
They took personal notes, pictures, even the Christmas wreath and stocking.
"This is all we have left of them, we can't buy them Christmas presents this year, can't spend Christmas with them so this was a way we wanted to share and bring joy, what joy we have," Dot Smith, the woman whose son's grave was also targeted.
Smith's son was killed in a car accident.
Vandals also struck his grave, next to Dustin Creekmore's.
"They just come in and it's like they're just tearing our hearts out all over again, it's like ripping that band aid once again, put it on, rip it off, put it on, rip it off," Creekmore and Smith say.
Despite the heartache, these mothers say they won't stop coming to decorate their son's graves, no matter what they find.
"All we have left is a piece of stone, that's it, " Creekmore says.
"Let us decorate their graves, let us come out and and visit with them in peace and not have to wonder if we go out there today is it still going to be there, is it going to be gone," Creekmore said.
A plea both of these women are making for their families.
"That's all we have left so I mean let us have that peace, just you know, we don't get a lot, just give us a little bit of peace," Creekmore says.
We reached out to Village Mills Cemetery, a spokesperson told us he had no comment and said he didn't know about the vandalism.
Creekmore's family is offering a three hundred dollar reward for the return of the items, no questions asked.