N.S. woman seeks answers after late husband’s headstone defaced
Published Thursday, June 15, 2017 7:48PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, June 16, 2017 8:17AM ADT
A young woman and mother who lost her husband in a car accident last year is speaking out after someone defaced his headstone.
Joanne Matchim-Fleet discovered the damage on Monday and is hoping someone will take responsibility for the vandalism.
She says this Father’s Day was already going to be a difficult one for her and her four-year-old son.
“It’s disheartening that my son will come up and see this and it’s hard to say if he’ll have questions about it, because he’s only four years old,” says Matchim-Fleet. “It’s a lot for him to process with everything that, unfortunately, has happened to our family in the last nine months.”
Adam Fleet passed away after his vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer on Nova Scotia's Highway 101 on Sept. 26, 2016.
His headstone was in perfect condition when Matchim-Fleet visited on Thursday. When she returned less than five days later, she was shocked by what she found.
"They've like scuffed off a lot of the coating of my name plate, as well as vandalizing the photographs by scratching it off," Matchim-Fleet says.
Her husband's headstone had been placed at the cemetery in Middle Sackville, N.S. just 16 days ago.
"I honestly sat there and I cried,” she says. “It hurt. It's not that it hurt me, it hurt for my children, for my son and my husband's daughter, who have to come and look at that."
Matchim-Fleet has reported the vandalism to the RCMP and the cemetery.
In a written statement, Arbor Memorial Inc. tells CTV News:
"We are extremely upset about this incident and feel terrible for the Fleet family. The family is our top priority right now and we are continuing to work with the widow to find a solution to repair the monument."
They added that the incident appears to be isolated and deliberate, as no damage has been reported to any other monuments.
"My husband lit up the room. He was a heavy-duty mechanic on trains, he also worked at a muffler shop. Everyone knew him for his car enthusiasm, he and his mustang," says Matchim-Fleet.
She says she has received a lot of support from friends. While she isn't sure how much it will cost to fix the damaged headstone, its value to her family is priceless.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April.