The National Park Service is hoping a $1,000 reward will lead to the capture and arrest of those responsible for desecrating gravesites at the historic Kane Cemetery within Montana's Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
The crime has been under investigation since late last month, when vandals pushed over, broke or spray-painted tombstones on 31 graves and other monuments.
The Park Service is asking for help from within and beyond nearby communities, and the reward is being offered "for the successful prosecution and conviction of the individuals responsible for the vandalism to the historic Kane Cemetery," according to a news release issued today.
The first recorded burial in the cemetery was in 1903, three years after the settlement of a nearby Mormon community called Iona. The town of Kane, named after rancher Riley Kane, sprang up south of the confluence of the Bighorn and Shoshone rivers and was a trading center and railroad depot for homesteaders in the Dryhead and Crooked Creek areas.
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is urged to call Pete Sawtell or Jessica Korhut at (307) 548-5421.
Sources: Pete Thomas, LA Times, December 14, 2009
Photo: Some of the Kane Cemetery destruction. Credit: National Park Service