SICK ACT: Vandals destroyed the grave of Mark Halter.
SICK ACT: Vandals destroyed the grave of Mark Halter. Contributed

Police investigate Bundy family's headstone heartache

A BUNDABERG family has been left mortified after what was supposed to be the final resting place of a beloved relative was turned upside down.

Angela Halter said someone ripped her brother Mark Halter's headstone out of the ground, flipped it upside down and put it back in the concrete, "violating" his grave.

Mark, a son, brother and father, died aged 31 from pancreatic cancer on October 27, 2015.

"He was a good man, a good worker and didn't deserve this - no one deserves this," Ms Halter said.

"He was diagnosed and then dead within four weeks, a week before his birthday.

"This has been a real kick in the guts, especially for Dad.

"It's the first time I've been out there since he passed away because it's just been too hard.''

 

DEVASTATED: Mark Halter died from pancreatic cancer two years ago, aged 31.
DEVASTATED: Mark Halter died from pancreatic cancer two years ago, aged 31.

Ms Halter said a visiting family member found the headstone at 9.30am on Sunday. The surrounding headstones were unscathed.

"It's a different kind of vandalism," she said.

"The stainless steel bars that go into the cement have been bent and the lady at the cemetery said someone had used a lot of force for a long time to bend it like that.

"Usually you hear of people smashing them but they've flipped it upside down and none of the others have been touched.

"There's no cracks in it - the only scuff marks are on the top from where it's been sitting upside down."

Ms Halter said she had no idea who was responsible.

Bundaberg Sergeant Mick Ward confirmed police were investigating a complaint of wilful damage to the headstone at the Takalvan St cemetery.

He said the incident would be "heart-wrenching for the family".

Ms Halter and her father wanted to thank the Bundaberg police and the cemetery caretakers for their respect, efficiency and professionalism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEVASTATED: Mark Halter's damaged headstone.
DEVASTATED: Mark Halter's damaged headstone. Contributed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She made special mention of two people at the cemetery who supported the family at the grave.

Ms Halter is calling for more surveillance at the cemetery to help police and deter the graveyard vandals.

"Talking to the cemetery people there's only one camera and we need more," she said.

"We need to make sure the people we've lost are safe.

"We need more security out there. There's plenty of places to put cameras, even if they're not hidden it would still deter people."

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said any damage to public or private property was unacceptable but it was particularly disturbing that such behaviour would happen within the sanctity of a cemetery.

"This has no doubt caused immense emotional trauma to the family," Cr Dempsey said

. "Council will work in with police in any investigation into this unsavoury incident."

If you have information, phone Policelink on 131 444.

 

BELOVED: Mark Halter was a much-loved father, son and brother.
BELOVED: Mark Halter was a much-loved father, son and brother. Contributed

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