Church columbarium desecrated

There was a report of vandalism to the First Methodist Church’s columbarium last week.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A representative of the First Methodist Church in Safford reported Tuesday, March 17, that someone had damaged its columbarium in four separate areas.

The columbarium at the church is a structure used for the public storage of cinerary urns, which holds cremated remains. A columbarium is akin to a mausoleum, except that while mausoleums are designed to hold entire bodies, a columbarium is designed to hold cremation urns in individual boxes.

According to a Safford Police report, the damage occurred between Saturday, March 14, and Tuesday, March 17. The church representative advised that she would contact the family members of the units damaged and see if anything was missing from any of the boxes. While the urns were visible, it didn’t appear as if any of the remains were disturbed, according to the report.

The case remains under investigation without any suspects at this time, according to the report.

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