COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) Monday, Sept. 19, Columbus Parks and Rec had to deliver troubling news to the District Attorney’s Victim Witness Office. One local Columbus memorial to remember the lives taken as a result of homicide was discovered vandalized.

The Columbus Homicide Victims Memorial had more than 200 bricks engraved with the names of those murdered here in the Fountain City. The memorial was discovered with extensive damage leaving local officials wondering why.

The Homicide Victims Memorial was started by Jim and Bernice Johnson. Their daughter, Ann Curry, and three grandchildren, 4-year-old Erika, 20-month-old Ryan, and unborn grandson were murdered in 1985. The District Attorney’s Victim Witness Office has overseen the memorial since the 90’s, and every year since the names of those murdered have been added to the installment.

Director of Victim Services Shelly Hall says the vandalism is a direct revictimization of the individuals remembered in the memorial and their families left behind.

”It, is just devastating. It’s very angry. It’s not just somebody picked up a few of the bricks. It’s just looks intentional and it’s devastating. And I know it is going to negatively impact every one of our victims,” Hall explains.

Hall has reached out to Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson, filed a report with the Columbus Police Department, and has reached out to other community leaders to start on the restoration process.

She wants to ensure every family knows they will do everything necessary to repair the memorial. In the meantime the police department is searching for the individual, or individuals, responsible for destroying what was left behind of these victims. They shared the following statement with WRBL.

“We are aware of the vandalism at the Homicide Brick Memorial. This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call Columbus Police Department’s tip line at 706-653-3188.”

Columbus Police Department

Hall tells WRBL their office was planning to unveil a sign in October that would describe the memorial and the history of this site. Due to the recent vandalism, this will be pushed back several months.

This memorial is funded solely by donation, anyone looking to assist in the restoration process should contact the District Attorney’s Victim Witness Office (706) 653-4426.