Dawn Renee Phillips, of Pendleton, is in a North Carolina jail on 61 counts of desecrating grave sites.

The charges are felonies.

The sheriff’s office of Graham County, North Carolina, on its Facebook page reported officers on Saturday responded to a call of vandalism at the Lone Oak Cemetery at the Baptist church near Lake Santeetlah in western North Carolina.

“Upon arrival and speaking with the reporting party, it was found that approximately 60 headstones had been overturned,” according to the sheriff’s office, which offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone “responsible for this despicable act.”

Footage from church surveillance cameras showed “what appears to be a female subject that overturned headstones,” the sheriff’s office posted. The suspect had two dogs with her as well and left the cemetery in a white, older model, four-door Pontiac car.

Sheriff’s Lt. James Hyde said investigators caught a break in the case when a woman at a nearby rest area took a photo of the suspect’s car. That led to Phillip’s arrest.

Pendleton police Chief Stuart Roberts said local law enforcement have dealt with Phillip’s driving. State court records show she has three convictions for traffic violations going back to 2013. The most recent was in 2018 for driving uninsured. She got a $200 fine for the offense.

Phillips, who had a Kentucky driver’s license, appeared Monday before a judge. She remains in the jail there in lieu of a $125,000 bond.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.