Bury odd: Burned car discovered in cemetery

Published 8:02 am Thursday, May 22, 2014

Investigators are trying to find out why a car was burned and abandoned in a cemetery, left to be found Tuesday.
According to police reports, Sgt. Larry Vaughn was dispatched to Clarktown Cemetery, in Roan Mountain off Clarktown Road, in reference to not only the discovery of the vehicle, but also apparent vandalism to the cemetery.
The person who reported the incident spoke with Vaughn and said he had visited the cemetery in order to check on its condition, and noticed that the barrier fence had been run over and knocked to the ground.
The complainant also said an unidentified person told him that there was an abandoned vehicle in the woods near the cemetery, which had been burnt. The man told Vaughn the vehicle had not been there when he was at the cemetery Saturday.
When Vaughn found the burned vehicle, he determined that it was “possibly” a 1990s model two-door hatchback Honda Civic.
“The vehicle was burnt to the point that there was no way to positively identify the vehicle, as the VIN plate could not be located and the license plate had been removed. I did observe a small area on the driver’s door which still had the exterior paint intact. The color appeared to be a bright florescent type of green,” Vaughn said in his report. “It appeared the vehicle had been driven into a tree beside the cemetery prior to the fire due to broken glass and a tail light lens on the ground.
“The damage to the cemetery fence and the grass appeared to have been caused by a vehicle driving in circles, possibly doing ‘donuts,’” he wrote.
The Criminal Investigations Division’s Sgt. Travis Ludlow and Investigator James Stevens responded to document the scene and collect evidence. Once the scene was documented, the vehicle was removed from the woods.
Vaughn said in his report that the vehicle “possibly matches a vehicle which was reported stolen from Elizabethton on May 18.” The theft was reported to the Elizabethton Police Department.
The investigation is continuing.

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