COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - - Several families went to Fairview Cemetery in Colorado Springs over Father's Day weekend to pay their respects to loved ones.
For some, they were shocked to find tombstones defiled with red paint, some even covered with satanic symbols.
“It’s definitely a blow to the stomach,” said Brian Ziegler.
Ziegler came down from Denver to Fairview Cemetery with his mother on Saturday to pay respects for his late father, when they arrived their tombstone was one of eight to contain red paint markings. Their stone contained large satanic markings as well.
The Denver man believes tombstones were chosen at random as to which ones received the paint. Some stones were old while others, like Ziegler's, was brand-new.
“The one that’s right next to my dads was from 1906,” said Ziegler. ”It is a mother and her child.”
That gravestone looks as if red paint was poured on top of the 100-year-old stone.
Another tombstone, just a few yards away, represented the spot where three nineteenth-century infants were buried. However, it also fell victim to the red paint.
“You don’t know them, you probably don’t care about them, but other people do,” said Keith LaMee when asked what he thought of the people who vandalized the resting places.
For Keith LaMee, his cousin's stone was also painted red with satanic markings. He had no idea this had happened until he saw one of Ziegler's Facebook posts calling for the public's attention.
According to LaMee and Ziegler, Evergreen Cemetery, who maintains Fairview Cemetery, failed to inform them about the vandalism when it initially occurred.
“When something like this happens they should reach out to somebody and say 'hey there has been an incident,'" said LaMee.
“Apparently, this happened two weeks ago," said Ziegler. "I would never have brought my mom out here had I had known this happened.”
In a Facebook post, cemetery management urges people not to try to clean the stone themselves, and leave it to professionals.
Ziegler says cemetery management told him they may use a sandblaster to remove the paint. If that's the case, he fears for the health of the tombstones.
“There are two stones that are more than 100 years old and very porous," said Ziegler. "A sandblaster would completely dissolve them.”
Since the paint was discovered Saturday morning by Ziegler, it appears that someone has already tried to clean the stones. However, they only succeeded to smudge the paint. It is unclear at this time who tried to remove the paint.
KRDO reached out to the Evergreen Cemetery management for comment, but they could not be reached.
In their Facebook post to the public, the cemetery management says police have been made aware of the situation and a monument company has been notified.
Colorado Springs Police tell KRDO no reports have been filed so far.
Ziegler says he has filed a report to CSPD, and urges the other victim's families to do the same.
As for the person or people who decided to paint the tombstones, Ziegler has a message for them.
"Get help. Don't do this, you are affecting so many other people," said Ziegler. "This is just nonsense."