Dozens of grave markers have been knocked down and damaged — in some cases, destroyed — at two Winnipeg-area cemeteries.
Winnipeg police say 25 grave markers were vandalized at the St. Boniface Cemetery, located on Archibald Street, sometime between Oct. 1 and 3.
The cemetery's older area was targeted, with some decades-old monuments destroyed and others damaged. Crosses were cracked and broken, and granite chips were found on the ground.
Cemetery caretaker Michel Michaud said some of the damaged monuments are so old, the names on them are no longer visible.
"Some of those markers or monuments, they have the names all weathered away," he told CBC News on Monday.
"We have really no idea of knowing who's buried there [and] who to contact, if we can."
Michaud said he couldn't believe the extent of the damage, which he describes as "just a total lack of respect."
"There's a couple of military markers that were toppled over and, you know, these are people who have died for the freedoms we enjoy in this country," he said.
Damage 'just sickened me,' says caretaker
A number of grave sites were also damaged at the All Saints Cemetery in West St. Paul, just outside the city.
All Saints caretaker Willie Korchynski said windows were smashed on two mausoleums, five grave sites were vandalized, and the hands were broken off religious statues sometime on Friday night.
"Oh, my heart was just ready to drop," he said.
"It just sickened me that people are that cruel, that they can do this to a place where people want to just rest."
Korchynski said he has never seen such vandalism at the cemetery — including the desecration of a baby's grave.
"I just can't believe how awful this is — even a baby's grave, and it just made me cry, just about, when I've seen it," he said.
The West St. Paul cemetery is wide open and easily accessible, said Korchynski, who has filed a complaint about the vandalism with the RCMP.
The St. Boniface Cemetery vandalism has been reported to Winnipeg police.