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VANDALISM AROUND CITY HALL LEAVES ELK RIDGE WONDERING

Elk Ridge residents and town officials aren't exactly sure how serious they should be taking recent acts of vandalism on or around the town offices.

In four separate incidents since late June, upside-down crosses or animals carcasses, have appeared on the city offices or nearby road signs, Utah County sheriff's detective Neal Castleberry said."We don't know what to make of it - if it's being targeted at Elk Ridge or a particular individual or if it's just a prank," Castleberry said. "If it's not, it's a really strange way to bring up a beef with Elk Ridge. It's creepy, that's for sure."

On Aug. 11, a white, upside-down cross was hung on the building, with a cat nailed to it, crucifixion-style, he said. In another incident, a black cross with white candles on it was found on the front lawn of the building. A headless chicken was tied to a road sign located near the building and an upside-down cross with an animal skull on it was nailed to the roof of City Hall at other times.

Town Councilman Scot Sessions said he and other officials don't have any leads to give detectives.

"We sure wish we knew what these things are all about," Sessions said. "But we just don't have the information to make an educated guess as to what's going on."

But Sessions did say that the vandalism hasn't dampened any residents' spirits.

"It hasn't made anybody here scared to live in Elk Ridge, at least to my knowledge," Sessions said. "But it's certainly not something we're encouraging."

The crosses were made with 2-by-4 boards and were hand-painted white or black, Castleberry said. The deer or sheep skull found nailed to one of the crucifixes was painted red.

"Whoever's doing this has really put a lot of work into it, for whatever reason," Castleberry said.

Detectives, who haven't ruled out any cult-related reasons for the vandalism, are encouraging anyone with information on the incidents to call Utah County sheriff's dispatchers, 375-3601.