Wind Advisory issued March 31 at 5:39PM EDT expiring March 31 at 9:00PM EDT in effect for: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Charles, Prince Georges, Saint Marys, Baltimore City
For the third time in recent weeks, a pyromaniac turned sacred ground at the North East United Methodist Cemetery into a crime scene.
"I figured I'd come down today and we if it was our family's graves,” said Franklin Grove of Rising Sun, “It's the ones right beside it. Whoever is doing this... I don't know... they don't have any conscience or brought up with no morals or whatever."
Deputy State Fire Marshal Howard Ewing is heading up the investigation into the fires.
"This is a wreath that was placed on the grave, probably at Christmas time or around there,” said Ewing as he pushed aside some snow to uncover charred evidence, “This is what was burning the other night."
Crime scene photos from over the weekend show the fire spread over 200 square feet charring a marker and a gravestone while threatening several others nearby.
One of the damaged stones is that of Thomas Emory II, and this is the second time someone has set fire to memorials surrounding his grave.
"The two young ladies to the right and him died in an automobile accident down in the Charlestown area several years ago and this is where we're at to this day and why someone would do this is beyond me," said Ewing.
Investigators believe the fires may be random or crimes of opportunity since they've been set in a somewhat remote area of the cemetery. While the destroyed decorations only carry a value of $150, the cost to the families of those whose graves have been disturbed is immeasurable.
"If anybody had any kind of upbringing...decency... they'd know not to desecrate a grave,” Grove said. “This is a final resting place. People come here to mourn and visit your loved ones from the past. I just don't understand it."
If you have any information, which could help investigators with this case, you're asked to call the Maryland Arson Hotline at 1-800-492-7529.