Historic church building damaged by vandals in Warrick Co.
LYNNVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The vandalism of a nearly 130 year old church building is under investigation near Lynnville.
Warrick County Sheriff Mike Wilder says Mt. Zion Church, which is on Eby Road, South of Tecumseh Road, was vandalized Friday night.
He says the department interviewed six suspects, and most were juveniles.
Wilder says that during the interviews, several juveniles said they went to the church because they were told it might be haunted.
He says the suspects then began to vandalize the building.
“They tried to light up some of the hymnals,” Wilder said. “My understanding is that some of the other boys who were with them put it out. They also decided to break out all of the windows, tear up some of the pews.”
Wilder says that one of the suspects posted videos of the vandalism on Snapchat, and that an anonymous source reported the videos to the sheriff’s department.
“They did quite a number out there, quite a bit of damage,” Wilder said. “I don’t know the dollar figure - but I don’t know if the dollar figure matters. It’s kind of just a hit in the gut - kind of disgusting that that’s what they would do. I understand they’re juveniles, but this is just a whole different level of vandalism.”
Historians say the one room building has no electricity or water, and hasn’t been used for regular church services for decades. However, it is still used for funerals and weddings.
The building is maintained by members of the building’s board of trustees.
One of the trustees said the board had just had many of the windows replaced a few weeks before the vandalism.
“This building has had damage in the past,” Wilder said. “A lot of our rural areas, especially our cemeteries out there get tore up. Unfortunately, the township trustees or maybe whoever may own the different properties or the caregivers - whatever it may be - have to take care of it and clean this up.”
Another trustee said that he is not sure whether the board will have the building repaired, since they fear it will just be vandalized again.
Wilder says the investigation is still open, but the suspects may be charged with vandalism and potentially arson.
He says the investigation will likely remain open until Monday night or Tuesday.
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