NEW LONDON - Police are searching for the vandals who damaged the 110-year-old War Memorial monument Tuesday night.
The rifle that the Civil War-era soldier is holding was broken into several pieces, most of which had been taken away. Police were able to recover only a few smaller pieces of the marble statue, located at Memorial Park off Kirk and North Main streets.
New London Police Chief Mark Holden said his officers have been following up on leads on "a few persons of interest."
"The persons responsible would be best served by turning themselves in and returning the pieces so that the monument can be repaired versus being identified later and no longer being able to repair the monument," Holden said in a prepared statement.
Witnesses reported seeing teenage boys with a basketball in the area about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Another witness said they saw a basketball inside the memorial fence.
The Women's Relief Core erected the War Memorial statue in 1897. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the New London Police Department at (419) 929-3504.