Family offers reward for information about damaged headstone - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Family offers reward for information about damaged headstone

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - The family of a young man who lost his battle with cancer last year is outraged after people damaged their son's headstone.

Quincy police say the headstone was criminally damaged at Calvary Cemetery on North 18th Street. Tim Genenbacher says  it happened between 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday at noon, and caused $6,000 in damages.

The headstone was a memorial to Blake Genenbacher, who was 21-years-old when he died last August from bone cancer.

"I looked at Blake and he grabbed my hand and said 'Dad, I've decided against treatments. They are giving me about two weeks.' A decision to be made like that by a 21-year-old, you're just like no, no," Blake's father, Tim Genenbacher said.
Blake Genenbacher battled bone cancer for two years, and when his dad Tim had to say goodbye, he thought he could finally let his son rest in peace. But when his son's headstone was vandalized over the weekend, the pain of losing Blake was brought back to the surface.

"I couldn't protect him when he was alive,"Genenbacher said. "And now I can't even protect him when he's gone. I know I will never get over the pain, it's been getting easier, but it's definitely a struggle. To have this happen now, it's devastating."  

"When it was first observed by the groundskeeper, the headstone had fallen to the ground or was kicked to the ground or pushed," Quincy Police Officer Matt Hermsmeier said.

Hermsmeier says because of that, Blake's headstone also suffered deep scratches and multiple chips. He says police believe a sticky liquid substance was also poured down the back of Blake's headstone.

"It appears to me that it was targeted for some reason. There are several headstones in this area and no other tombstones were damaged," Hermsmeier said.

While police are treating this as an act of vandalism, Blake's father hopes it was just an accident.

"Please just get a hold of me, and I promise you, I will forgive you and there will be no charges filed. We just need closure as a family to know that there's not somebody out there being vengeful against Blake," Genenbacher said.

Blake's parents, Tim and Chris Genenbacher, are offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Quincy Police Department at 217-228-4470 or Quincy Regional Crime Stoppers at 217-228-4474.
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