19th Century East Tennessee Cemetery Vandalized

ATHENS, Tenn. (AP) -- The McMinn County Sheriff's Office is investigating the desecration of a 19th century cemetery near Athens.

Sheriff's Detective Michael Hayes says a few gravestones from the Womac Cemetery were found discarded in an adjacent field.

Records show the graveyard is one of three associated with the Womac family and it dates back to the 1800s. The McMinn County Historical Society says the cemetery contains about 150 graves.

John Austin of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, says he spent the weekend clearing brush from the 5-acre tract owned by his wife, Tisha Austin, as she prepares to sell it.

John Austin calls the vandalism "sick and disgusting" and says he's hired a private investigator to assist in the case.

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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