WEBSTER COUNTY, Mo. — Deputies in Webster County are searching for suspects in the vandalism of a historic church off of Highway 38 in Elkland.
Passers-by noticed damage on the Pleasant View Church on Easter Sunday.
Whoever got inside broke stained glass windows, damaged the antique piano, the pulpit and the pews.
Jessie Perkins, a member of the family who founded Pleasant View Church, is heartbroken by the vandalism.
“The love is still in those walls,” said Perkins. “It is heart-wrenching that they would damage the church, but they can’t damage the memories that everyone has made here over 100 years.”
Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole said they can only speculate on the motives behind the vandalism.
“It’s a little more emotional than most cases because people do have such historical context to it, and they have that emotional attachment to the building itself,” said Cole.
The stained glass windows were put in when the church was initially built in the 1800s.
According to Cole, the value of the items damaged makes this a felony offense.
Archie Ritch, president of the Pleasant View Cemetary and Church Boards, said he and the Church Board are offering a $750 reward for information leading to an arrest.
A Facebook page is working to raise money to repair or replace the damaged property.