Local cemetery target of vandals

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - LeBleu Cemetery has been the target of vandals who have desecrated more than 20 graves. Now, family members with loved ones there want answers - and justice.

On any given day, you can find Cindy Johns out at LeBleu Cemetery. "I come out here and I fix the flowers and make them pretty," said Johns.

A family graveyard off Highway 397, Johns looks after loved ones.  "This is my Maw Maw Lucille and my Paw Paw James. They were awesome grandparents," said Johns.

But this past Tuesday, the once peaceful resting place was disturbed by vandals. Trash was found littering the grounds and some 20 graves were damaged.

"I'm angry. We are all angry," said Johns. "This is a sacred place. This is where you come to rest for eternity. This represents where we come to see our loved ones and to be able to come here to pay our respects."

One of the tombstones damaged was that of family friend Nicole Guidry, who was tragically murdered at KK's Corner back in 1997.

"Her and my daughter were real good friends. It hurts me for her family. It hurts me for her. She didn't deserve this," said Johns. "They desecrated her twice. Once in life and now in death."

The LeBleu Cemetery dates back to 1860. Some of the cement crosses on graves there from the late 1800s were destroyed. "Those are gone. Those were made back then. They can't be replaced ever. Never," explained Johns.

Johns has filed a report with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office. Deputies have since started doing more patrols. According to Johns, the wooded area has become a known drug hang out, but still can't believe the disrespect shown to the dead. She says the reality of it is we'll all be laid to rest one day, and she urges anyone with information to come forward and turn the responsible party in.

"That's what I would like. And I would like for them to come out here and help us clean it up. And they need to serve time for it," said Johns.

Meanwhile, anyone with information about this case is asked to contact local authorities.

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