News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 22, 2006

Family finds ‘KKK’ scorched into lawn

(Continued)



Frequently, she said, it’s young, white kids who are the perpetrators. They may be motivated by information they find on the Internet, she said.

Police have received tips about the vandalism of the Smiths’ yard, but could not speak specifically about that information Friday.

“We’re going to follow up on” the leads, Gossett said, “and see where they take us.”

Smith noticed the destruction Thursday morning while a sheriff’s deputy was in the neighborhood, trying to locate the owner of a scooter. Smith immediately reported her discovery, a police report shows.

“I sure hope they get this solved,” said Virginia Lindley, a next-door neighbor who expressed shock over the occurrence. Lindley described the Smiths as great neighbors.

Another neighbor told investigators her Australian shepherd was barking incessantly around 5 a.m. Thursday.

Missy Garrison said she peered out her side door, which doesn’t provide a view of the Smiths’ home. She didn’t see anything unusual.

As neighbors spent Friday afternoon mowing, Gossett snapped photographs of the damage to the Smith’s lawn, which included a trail of burned grass in a swirling pattern.

“It might be a childish prank, but you don’t do this,” Smith said.

Karin Grunden can be reached at (812) 231-4257 or karin.grunden@tribstar.com.

Have a tip?

--Anyone with information about the vandalism of the Smiths’ front yard can call the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department at (812) 462-3226 or the FBI’s Terre Haute field office at (812) 232-0993.

--Anonymous tips can be phoned into the Crime Stoppers line at (812) 238-7867.

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