Authorities are searching for those responsible for vandalizing a statue of Jesus in the Peach Orchard Cemetery.

The statue, which rests at the grave of the late Glenn O’Neal, 22, of Lewisburg, was found vandalized by a family member of O’Neal’s at the end of March. A green face, black stripes, and letters were painted on Christ’s depiction and have caused both sadness and anger for the family.

Maranda Johnson, sister of the deceased, was visiting her family when the vandalism was found.

“My cousin had gone to the cemetery to visit family there and decorate for Easter and she sent my mother the picture of the Jesus statue,” said Johnson. “My mother and I were out shopping at the time because I am here visiting from Wisconsin. When she saw the picture she broke down in tears. I did the opposite, it made me furious.”

Johnson was shocked that someone would vandalize a cemetery.

“They have to be a low down, dirty person for them to vandalize my brother’s grave,” said Johnson. “I just couldn’t believe it. He was one of the best guys that anyone ever met. For anyone that knew him, they had a friend in him.”

Johnson said she immediately went to Facebook and posted about it as did her mother, Diane Mitchell.

Mitchell called the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and reported the incident which was also posted on the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page. Johnson said the post from the sheriff’s page has been shared nearly 600 times, so she is hopeful that justice will be served.

“Within 20 minutes we had Ron Harper and David Casey both offering $500 rewards to find the person/people who did this, and soon after many others offering to contribute to the reward. Now the reward is nearly $2000 for the capture/conviction of the person(s) responsible,” said Johnson.

Several people offered to donate their time to help clean up or paint the statue said Johnson, but she and her mother couldn’t wait. As soon as they found out about the vandalism both went and repainted the statue.

“We want to thank everyone for the beautiful outpouring of love and support. This community is a wonderful place,” Johnson said. “My brother would have given the shirt on his back and the last dollar in his pocket to someone who needed it. He had a lot of amazing friends. Even though he’s been gone nearly 17 years, they are still his friends and it is evident by their contributions of reward money and offering their services to help restore the statue. We love and appreciate all of them more than they know.”

If you have information concerning the vandalism, please contact deputy Johnson with the Logan County Sheriff’s Department 270-726-4911.

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