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Arrest made in August vandalism of southern Iowa cemetery

Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 04, 2020

LEON, Iowa (AP) — A Davis City man has been arrested in the vandalism of a southern Iowa cemetery — including a veterans memorial there — some six months ago, authorities said.

Travis Duane Toney, 35, has been charged with third-degree criminal mischief for the veterans memorial and headstones vandalized in August in Leon Cemetery, the Des Moines Register reported. The vandalism came four days after some 30 gravestones were damaged in Oakland Cemetery in Manchester. Another man was arrested in that case.

Toney was linked to the Leon Cemetery vandalism after his DNA was found at the cemetery a week after the incident, Leon police said in a news release.

Leon Police Chief Julie Gfeller said she met last week with Toney, who provided a written confession to the crime. He said he wanted to begin “repaying his debt to society,” according to a police criminal complaint.

Five headstones, benches and a gazebo recognizing veterans were damaged.

Leon is about 70 miles south of Des Moines.