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Vandals deface memorial to fallen Uintah County deputy again

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 12:33 a.m. MDT

A memorial to Uintah County Sheriff's Kevin Orr, who died in the line of duty, has been defaced for the fourth time since friends and family erected it in 2007. The words A memorial to Uintah County Sheriff's Kevin Orr, who died in the line of duty, has been defaced for the fourth time since friends and family erected it in 2007. The words "illegal cross" and "dead pig" were scrawled on a cross dedicated to Orr's memory. (Holley Orr)

JENSEN, Uintah County — For the fourth time in six years a private memorial to a fallen sheriff's deputy has been defaced by vandals.

"It's supposed to be a place to remember and honor Kevin, and (the vandalism) is really disturbing and upsetting," said Holley Orr, who discovered the most recent damage Friday during a visit to her husband's memorial with one of the couple's daughters.

Someone has scrawled the words "illegal cross" above a photo of Uintah County Sheriff's Cpl. Kevin Orr mounted at the center of a large white cross. "Dead pig" is written beneath the image.

Orr died Nov. 22, 2006, when the helicopter he was riding in struck a power line and crashed into the Green River during a search for a missing woman. One year later, Holley Orr's father built a memorial to his son-in-law along U.S. 40 near the crash site.

Uintah County sheriff's detective Cpl. Kevin Orr died Nov. 22, 2006, following a helicopter crash during a search for a missing woman. (Orr family) Uintah County sheriff's detective Cpl. Kevin Orr died Nov. 22, 2006, following a helicopter crash during a search for a missing woman. (Orr family)

"I know we got permission. We got a right of way to be able to put it up," Holley Orr said Friday.

The site was vandalized for the first time in July 2008, when it was peppered with shotgun blasts that damaged a concrete bench and the wooden fence surrounding the cross.

Holley Orr's father repaired the fence himself, but three months later, someone targeted the memorial with a paintball gun, making "a horrible mess."

Then, in April 2010, the site was almost completely destroyed by a hit-and-run driver who backed up after the initial collision and drove over the memorial a second time, based on tire marks at the scene. The crash did more than $2,000 in damage, according to the Uintah County Sheriff's Office.

The timing of the most recent incident of vandalism makes it especially difficult for Orr's family.

"This month marks seven years since Kevin passed away," Holley Orr said, her voice cracking with emotion.

Kevin Orr, police officer who died during a search and rescue in 2006, had a memorial built in his honor about two and a half years ago. Since then, his wife said its been vandalized three times, including an event last weekend that almost completely destroyed it. (Tyler Orr) Kevin Orr, police officer who died during a search and rescue in 2006, had a memorial built in his honor about two and a half years ago. Since then, his wife said its been vandalized three times, including an event last weekend that almost completely destroyed it. (Tyler Orr)

"My kids have grown up for seven years without their dad," she said. "It's just so hard. We shouldn't have to have a place like that damaged."

No one has been arrested for the three prior incidents of vandalism, despite the offer of a cash reward. That hasn't deterred Holley Orr from renewing her offer of a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for damaging her husband's memorial.

Anyone with information should call the sheriff's office at 435-789-2511.

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