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Gravesite Damage

Sheriff lucky to be alive he says
Sheriff lucky to be alive he says
Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 6/17 9:32 am
PEPPERTOWN, Miss (WTVA) -- Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson tells WTVA that Melissa Thayer of Mantachie is in the county jail on $5000 bond.

The charge stems from driving through the Friendship Methodist Cemetery destroying several tombstones and grave sites.

But, the sheriff says he and his men were on the look out for her before that.

"We were looking for her based on what the store had called in and told us that we've got somebody that has walked in in a pair of panties and a bra doing some shopping," said Dickinson.

The sheriff says that Thayer, sometime after the store incident, drove to the Friendship Methodist Cemetary to apparently visit her deceased mother's grave site.

We did notice what looked to be tire tracks through the middle of the cemetery.

There was one stone still turned over.

"We learned about it Saturday morning.The caretaker there at the cemetery had contacted us that there had been some vandalism," said the sheriff.

Dickinson said that they found some pieces of Thayer's automobile, a jacket that they said belongs to her and a receipt from the store that had reported her earlier.

"So we started looking for her at that time, not knowing what the issue was with her, why she was doing that and I highly doubt just because it was a hot day that she was out there doing that," Dickinson continued.

He adds that she had apparently been drinking very heavily that day.

Thayer apparently has several friends around the area that we talked to off camera.

They seemed to be concerned about her well being saying she was in a bad way having recently lost all that she has including her house and all her personal belongings.

They said that explains why she was acting in a way which they say was very uncharacteristic of her.

"It's just kind of unusual," Sheriff Dickinson said.

One person we spoke with says they're upset about what happened because they have a family member buried in the Friendship Methodist Cemetary.
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