Police: Two wanted for defacing gravesites of President and Betty Ford

Posted at 12:58 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 20:43:52-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Police are asking for help in identifying the two people suspected of defacing the gravesites of President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford last week.

The incident happened about 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, according to city officials.

Surveillance footage shows two people coming to the site on skateboards and kicking them towards the site.

Photos show the couple at the site sitting on the wall, appearing to pry at the letters.

Police said the suspects successfully took off the letter "E" from "committed" off the wall. The museum had to spend $400 to replace the stolen letter.

The museum hopes the suspects are found, because they see the incident as an extreme act of vandalism.

“The president and First Lady are interred here, this is a presidential grave site,” said Joel Westphal, deputy director of the museum. “There are not many presidential grave sites, we are one of only 14 presidential museums around the country.”

He said he doesn’t believe the Ford family has been notified of the vandalism yet, but that they would be soon.

The museum is looking into taking legal action against the perpetrators as well.

Anyone with information should call Grand Rapids Police at 616-456-3836 or 616-456-3989 or Silent Observer 616-774-2345.