Mausolem mystery: Spooky discovery inside Stark County cemetery

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NIMISHILLEN TWP., Ohio - There's a mystery among the graves of Union Cemetery in Stark County after a spooky discovery inside a mausoleum Friday night.

Investigators said a pair of joggers noticed boards missing from a mausoleum window and noticed pieces of a damaged coffin inside, along with tiles missing from tombs. They reported it to deputies, who said they aren’t sure what caused the damage.

“Right now, it's hard to determine if it was vandalism or due to the disrepair of the building,” said Major C.J. Stantz, of the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.

The age of the century-old mausoleum is also complicating the investigation, as Stantz said there weren’t clear records about who the coffins belong to or how long the damage had been there.

It was also unclear who was responsible for maintaining the crumbling mausoleum. Cemetery officials said the mausoleum was built in 1910 by a private company and then deeded to that company and is therefore not owned by Union Cemetery, but rather, it’s abandoned.

Nimishillen Township trustees called an emergency meeting Friday and approved having township crews board up the window to secure the building.

Deputies said there wasn’t a clear motive for vandalism, and there haven’t been past issues with vandals at the cemetery.

“I don’t understand why someone would do that, and if we do determine that somebody did it, they're going to be charged accordingly,” Stantz said.

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