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Community reacts to Hibbing cemetery vandalism

HIBBING, MN– Hibbing Police are investigating vandalism at the city’s Maple Hill Cemetery.

Jon Blazina a burial service member at the cemetary says several items were damaged, “Private headstones, military upright, a good dozen of them, one mycelium.”

It’s something the community has never seen and has left many in disbelief.

Blazina who has worked for the city for over 30 years says it was sickening.

“Sick to your stomach that somebody would do come into this place and do that kind of damage to someone who can’t do anything for themselves,” says Blazina.

Restoring the stones is not an easy process.

Blazina says, “Kinda tough we weren’t sure how to go about it. We used some paint strippers, we used presser sprayers, Mr. Clean erasers worked wonderful.”

Headstones made from softer stone have permanent dark lines on them since the paint was absorbed.

Other headstones still have paint stuck in the letters.

Community members also stepped up to help clean up the damage after seeing the damage posted online.

“The public, it was great a lot of volunteers came out. It made you feel good that everyone came out and wanted to pitch in,” says Blazina

According to Police Chief Steve Estey, the vandalism occurred sometime Sunday night.

Police are investigating the case and ask anyone with information to come forward.

They ask the public to keep an eye and ear out for details that could lead them to a suspect.

Chief Estey says, “If anybody has any information whether it’s the stores in town or anyone missing orange paint, or would’ve sold any orange paint over the weekend or yesterday, to get a hold of the PD here so we can follow up on that.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hibbing Police Department at 218-263-3601.

Emma Quinn

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