Beaumont Police are seeking advice to help identify who damaged two mausoleum graves, by taking out a coffin and opening it.
The incident took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery at 4955 Pine Street between 2 p.m. on July 1 and 9 a.m. on July 3, Beaumont Police Officer Haley Morrow said.
A photo of the mausoleum showing the two damaged graves and what appears to be an old rusty coffin was posted on social media by BPD in hopes the photo could lead to tips.
Grave theft could be a motive, but cannot be determined with certainty until a suspect is found.
“This is something they will be investigating,” Morrow said. “We are not sure of the motive at this point.”
Police did not give details of the condition of the body in the coffin and whether it had been tampered with.
Morrow said the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office may be considering charges, including felony misdemeanor, abuse of a corpse or theft from a grave.
“It depends on which charge corresponds to the crime,” she said. “We don’t know what, if anything, was taken, so we plead with the public if anyone has any information or saw anything on social media or someone to call.”
Forest Lawn Memorial Park issued a statement on the incident: “Last week we discovered damage to a mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The Beaumont Police Department has been notified immediately and we are fully cooperating with their investigation. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to share details related to this matter. “
Anyone with information can call BPD at 409-832-1234, message the BPD Facebook page, or give anonymous advice through Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 409-833-TIPS. Anonymous tips can also be passed on to Crime Stoppers by downloading the P3 Tips app.