Family Upset after Memorial Bench Vandalized

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EDINBURG – An Edinburg family is upset after they found their memorial bench destroyed. They spent nearly $6,000 to have a custom piece made for their father’s grave.

Yari Salinas said her father, Librando Salinas, passed away last June. Her family wanted to give him something special.

“We decided to buy this bench pretty much in June and it took about six months to come in because they had to transport it overseas,” she said.

They ordered a custom memorial bench engraved with the Dallas Cowboys logo. Salinas said her father was their number one fan.

Salinas said Friday her grandparents put the order for a granite slab in at the Hillcrest Memorial Park. It would be added to the family’s memorial bench.

“We got a call on Monday that it was destroyed and we have no idea how it happened, we have no answers and we have no idea what to do next,” she said.

The bench was broken into pieces. Her father’s headstone was damaged.

“We have just never had this problem before, we’ve never had this accident so it’s just unusual,” Sandra Propst, the manager of Hillcrest Memorial Park, said.

Propst believes it was an isolated event.

“The cemetery would take care of it if it were our fault but we didn’t do anything,” she said. “Somebody did it very deliberately and we did call the police. Edinburg did come out and they do have a report.”

The paperwork families sign, when they come in, clearly states the cemetery is not responsible for replacing the monuments.

“Rules and regs are very clear on this. That perpetual care means that we keep the grounds, the trees and the bushes,” Propst said.

The manager said they do all they can to take of their families. 

Propst said extra protection on monuments can be purchased through an individual’s insurance plan.

The rules and regulations are posted on the Hillcrest Memorial Park website for reference and they clearly state the guidelines.

"Perpetual Care Exceptions: It shall not mean maintaining, repairing or replacing grave monuments placed on lots or planting flowers or ornamental plants. Nor shall it include damage done from the elements, acts of God, thieves, malicious acts, strikers, vandals, unavoidable accidents, explosions, riots, insurrections, invasions or by order of any military or civil authority, whether damage be direct or collateral. There shall not be repair or reconstruction of any marble, granite, bronze or concrete work or buildings or structures or special grading of the Burial Park or lots"

Salinas said her family is heartbroken over what happened.

“And we’re gonna do the best we can to do what we can to keep things peaceful and beautiful,” she said.

Salinas said her family will still remember their Cowboys fan with or without a memorial bench.

Anyone with information about the act of vandalism can contact Edinburg Police Crimestoppers at (956) 383-3477.


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