President Ford, Betty Ford gravesite defaced; 2 sought

Grand Rapids

UPDATE: Grand Rapids police say both suspects have come forward and are cooperating with the investigation.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids city officials are asking for the community’s help in identifying two suspects accused of vandalizing the gravesite of President Gerald R. Ford and first lady Betty Ford.

The crime happened on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum around 4:07 p.m. on March 27, according to city spokesperson Steve Guitar. Surveillance video and images show two people walking on the property and sitting atop the gravesite, where one of them tried to rip out a letter.

The only other reported case of vandalism at the gravesite happened in February 2018, when bikers jumped the fence and did wheelies against the wall.

Officials with the presidential museum say they view the incidents as extreme acts of vandalism.

“We look upon this site as an important site. This is a presidential gravesite and we’re not happy,” said Joel Westphal, deputy director for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum.

Anyone with information in this case is encouraged to contact Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Jana Forner at 616.456.3836, Detective Curtis Satterwaite at 616.456.3989 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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