Sheriff's Office Intensifies Investigation Into Cemetery Vandalism

When Sheree Archer came to Rotten Bayou Cemetery to visit her infant daughter's grave site Tuesday, she found a disturbing site.

"Everything was cemented in the ground, and it was dug up and taken," she said.

Archer says a concrete bench an angle and bird bath that surrounded her daughter's grave were gone.

"It hurts because everything that you see out here people have give to Draven when she passed away. I can't understand how people can steal from the dead."

This was the second time grave robbers have struck here. Last year different items were stolen from Archer's grave site.

"Easter flowers, Easter baskets, things that I had out here for Easter people stole. This is the second hit, but this is a major hit."

Sheriff officials say several items including statues, a wind chime stand and seven cement benches were taken from grave sites throughout the cemetery. One of the benches belonged to Donna Necaise's family.

"It's very upsetting to come out here and see someone just go through and take something that meant a lot to you," Necaise said.

Sheriff officials have few leads in the thefts, but they believe the thefts are the work of more than one person since most of the items taken were heavy. Sheree Archer believes money is behind the thefts.

"I think they're stealing it reselling it and it's awful."

The Hancock County Sheriff's Department has intensified it's investigation.

"We're going to go ahead and enhance our patrols around the different cemeteries," Chief Deputy Bob Lambert said.

Archer and other victims can only hope arrests are made soon. Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 467-5101.