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2 mausoleum tombs damaged, casket removed at Forest Lawn cemetery

Beaumont police are seeking tips to help identify who damaged two mausoleum tombs, taking a casket out and opening it.

The incident happened at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 4955 Pine St. sometime between 2 p.m. July 1 and 9 a.m. July 3, Beaumont Police Officer Haley Morrow said.

A photo of the mausoleum showing the two damaged tombs and what looks to be an old casket with rust was posted to social media by BPD with the hope the photo may lead to tips.

Grave robbing could be a motive but cannot be determined with certainty until a suspect is found.

“That is an aspect they will investigate,” Morrow said. “We are not sure of the motive at this point.”

Police did not give details on the condition of the body in the casket and whether it had been tampered with.

Morrow said the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office might consider charges including felony criminal mischief, abuse of a corpse or theft of a gravesite.

“It depends on which charge fits the crime,” she said. “We are not sure what, if anything, was taken so we are pleading with the public if anyone has information, or saw something on social media or someone, to call.”

Forest Lawn Memorial Park released a statement about the incident: “Last week we discovered damages to a mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The Beaumont Police Department was notified immediately, and we are fully cooperating with their investigation. Because this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to share any details related to this matter.”

Anyone with information can call BPD at 409-832-1234, submit a message on BPD’s Facebook page or give an anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 409-833-TIPS. Anonymous tips can also be made to Crime Stoppers by downloading the P3 Tips app.