Police seek cemetery vandal

SUGAR HILL -- A family is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever vandalized a statue at their plot at the Sugar Hill Cemetery.

Lisa Hill said the head and arms were knocked off a life-sized, granite statue of Jesus that her family purchased to memorialize her brother, Michael Bailey, who died in a car accident almost two years ago. Hill said the statue's head was found on a pile of dirt in the back of the cemetery.

Hill said her family found four quarters, which sat undisturbed for months on the grave site, were missing and some nearby urns and vases were smashed.

The family discovered the vandalism Wednesday, Hill said. She said she visits the cemetery regularly and drives past it daily. Although she didn't stop at the cemetery Tuesday because of the rain, she said she didn't notice anything wrong when she drove by that day.

"It's just crushing to my family that someone would try to destroy this," Hill said. "It's a cemetery. It's a grave site. No one should go through what my mother (did) when she saw the grave site."

Hill said the vandalism was "just mean."

"It was an expensive monument, but that's not the point," she said. "We want to know who did this, and we want them caught and stopped."

The reward is being offered by Hill's stepfather and mother, Larry and Doris Bailey, who live in Cleveland.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Gwinnett County Police Department at 770-513-5300 or Crimestoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.

A police report was not available Wednesday, a Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman said.