PD: Suspects leave racist, derogatory graffiti at Avondale cemetery

Posted at 6:47 PM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 08:19:36-04

Police are searching for suspects after racist and derogatory graffiti was left at a West Valley cemetery.

Avondale Officer Jaret Redfearn said sometime between 12 p.m. on Wednesday and 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, more than a dozen grave markers at the Goodyear Farms Cemetery near Indian School and Dysart roads were tagged with offensive graffiti.

Photos from the scene showed swastikas and racist slurs marked on the gravestones. 

Carol Santos said a bench near her family's graves were vandalized with racial slurs.  

"It just hurt, just like a knife stabbed me," Santos said. 

Migrant farmers who picked cotton for tires during World War I are buried at the cemetery, according to Kathi Soria, who volunteers on the grounds.  

Mike Segovia, who has family buried at the cemetery, said he hopes the vandalism was from children who took a bad idea too far. 

"On one hand, it could be kids being kids — on the other hand is even scarier," Segovia. "Either side is wrong."

Officers with the Avondale Community Action Team responded and initiated an investigation into the incident.

Redfearn said at this time there are no known suspects.