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Cave Vandals Sought

Cave Vandals Sought

Posted - May 12, 2003 at 5:07 p.m.



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John Hollenhorst Reporting...Investigators have launched a criminal probe to figure out who vandalized two caves near Wendover that are loaded with historical significance. Surprisingly, the vandals seem to have left an obvious calling card.

An archaeologist discovered the vandalism last week as he was leading a cave tour for 5th grade schoolchildren. What he saw made him angry.

The most obvious damage was inside this cave -- known as Jukebox Cave because it once had a jukebox and a dance floor inside. They also hit another cave nearby known as Danger Cave.

In both cases, the vandals evidently used a powerful tool to bend security bars. Whoever squeezed through the gap was apparently rather small in build.

These caves were homes for the earliest Utah residents. They lived here even before there was a Great Salt Lake.

The vandals wrote names and obscene drawings. In some cases the graffiti was directly on top of ancient rock art. They also did some digging, possibly stealing archaeological treasures.

Christopher Quick/Utah State Parks: "IT'S A LITTLE UPSETTING. THEY'RE DESTROYING HISTORY. I HAVE CHILDREN TOO, AND I WOULD LIKE MY KIDS TO BE ABLE TO COME HERE, SEE THIS, WITHOUT THE GRAFFITI OVER THE ROCK ART."

The vandals left the names "Kayla G" and "Tony G." Investigators don't know if those are the names of the vandals. But it's an important clue. And, the name "Tony G" has turned up at other vandalized archeological sites.

If you can shed any light, you're asked to call the Tooele County Sheriff, or Utah State Parks at 801-538-7418.

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