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  • Writer's pictureNancy Rogers

Mausoleum Vandalism

On a recent trip to Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte, I found this mausoleum with the family name of COLE. It could use a power washing, but other than that, it looks pretty good for a structure built in 1912.

Upon close inspection, however, the mausoleum has some serious problems--it has been vandalized.

I don't know if you can tell in the photograph to the left--the one of the front doors, but the glass is smashed, especially on the door on the left. But the real damage is to the window on the back of the mausoleum. Vandals not only broke the window, they broke out the entire window, frame and all.

In this final picture above, you can see glass all over the floor in the mausoleum. What you can't tell is how thick that glass is. It's like bullet-proof glass, close to 1/2-inch thick. It must have taken a lot of force to break the glass, let along the entire window assembly.

It's also interesting to note that this mausoleum looks like it was designed to only hold two people. Most of the mausoleums at Elmwood hold between six and eight crypts; only two people appear to be interred in the Cole Mausoleum. If I can figure out who they were, I'll be sure to tell you.

It would be very easy for someone to enter the mausoleum now that the rear window is missing. A person could sleep there, which wouldn't be the end of the world, but what if he were to disturb the graves? It would be break into those crypts and destroy everything in them without anyone witnessing you doing it.

For that reason I called a special grave vandalism number that I found on line. I was shocked to find the number, and even more surprised when the person on the other end seemed genuinely interesting in repairing the mausoleum immediately. I'm going to go check on things tomorrow and see if they were only showing interest to get rid of me, or if they actually intended to fix things. I'll be sure to keep you abreast of that, too.

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