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Vandals strike memorial to Uintah officer who died in crash

It's the 3rd time site has been defaced in the past 2 years

Published: Sunday, April 11 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

The fence is damaged on a memorial to Kevin Orr, a Uintah County officer who died in a 2006 helicopter crash.    (Tyler Orr) The fence is damaged on a memorial to Kevin Orr, a Uintah County officer who died in a 2006 helicopter crash. (Tyler Orr)

JENSEN, Uintah County — Holley Orr goes to her husband's memorial about once a month to put out a new wreath and think for a minute.

Her father built the memorial for her in 2007 to help remember her husband, Uintah County Sheriff's Cpl. Kevin Orr, who was killed Nov. 22, 2006, in a helicopter crash while searching for a missing woman.

But since they built the memorial, it has been vandalized three times. Twice in 2008, it was shot with a shotgun and paintball gun, and last weekend it was almost completely destroyed by a hit-and-run.

"It's so frustrating," Holley Orr said. "I'm tired of it. It's supposed to be a place to go remember my husband, not a place to be vandalized like this."

She discovered the first incident in July 2008 when she went to visit her husband's memorial and saw someone had shot through the fence with a gun, damaging two parts of the wood fence surrounding a cross with her husband's name on it and, next to it, a concrete bench. Her father fixed the fence himself, but only three months later, vandals littered the cross and fence in paintballs.

"It was a horrible mess," Holley Orr said. "Dad spent hours and hours trying to get it cleaned up. … After that time, I offered a $500 reward," hoping to catch those responsible and deter future vandalism.

But two years later, on April 4, someone drove a pickup truck into the memorial, crashing through the fence. Holley Orr said police told her from the tire marks it looked like, after hitting it, the driver backed up and drove into it again. Police estimate more than $2,000 in damage, but Holley Orr said there are bigger problems with repairing it than cost.

When her father originally made the memorial, her four children put their handprints in the wet cement and wrote "We love Daddy" next to them. She doesn't know if that portion of the cement can be saved or reset into a new memorial.

Holley Orr and her father are offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to catching the guilty parties. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Uintah County Sheriff's Department.

e-mail: ashaha@desnews.com

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