FAIRFIELD — Police have set a deadline of next week for information on vandalism to a girl’s grave site in May. If no one comes forward by July 1, then the money — about $3,000 — goes back to the donors, Fairfield police Chief Michael Gould said Monday.

So far no one has come forward to collect the reward and there are no leads and no suspects in the vandalism at the grave belonging to Avery Lane, who was 6 when she died in 2012, despite a long police investigation, Gould said. The grave is in the Friends Meeting House Cemetery in North Fairfield.

“The donations that came in ranged from $1,000 down to some local children that turned in $20,” Gould said. “They came from as far away as Texas, but for the most part it was local people that donated. The reward has gotten us no information, Nobody has called on the reward at all. We don’t know who was doing it, why they were doing it.”

The vandalism on two consecutive days in May was the third time in the past year that the grave site — adorned with decorations in the otherwise plain cemetery — has been the target of vandals, according to the family. The site, with a granite stone with Avery’s likeness etched into it, was decorated with wind chimes, a bench, toys and other items.

No other graves in the cemetery were vandalized.

The reward money grew from the original $250 offered by Kennebec County sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Pierce, who responded to the call from Avery’s family in December 2012. She died from complications of the flu. Fairfield police upped the reward to $350, with more donations and pledges coming in the days and weeks that followed.

Tabitha Souzer, 28, of Fairfield, Avery’s mother, said there has been no further vandalism at the grave she visits often. She said she has not be contacted since the vandalism by the Friends Cemetery Association Sexton Ron Fenlason, who is in charge of the upkeep of the graves.

Fenlason said in mid-May that the association was scheduled to meet and possibly discuss the matter of Avery’s burial site. Fenlason has not returned calls placed to his home.

Michael Trombley, pastor of the church next to the cemetery, said Monday the cemetery association and the church are separate entities so he could not comment on any action that may be taken. He has said graves at the cemetery, some dating back 200 years, generally reflect the simple life that members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, adhere to. He said Quakers intend to maintain that decorum even after death.

Meanwhile, Gould, said the grave continues to be monitored intermittently with video and photographic surveillance.

“We took thousands of photographs and we were not able to get any suspects out of those photographs or even see anything that was improper in those photographs,” Gould said.

He said nobody from the cemetery association was ever a suspect in the vandalism.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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