CAMPTON HILLS – A vehicle’s tire marks were visible Thursday at the Garfield Cemetery, and they were leading to a broken monument headstone that had been created to pay tribute to Quincee Miller, a Batavia teenager who died three years ago.
The large, dark monument was hit by a vehicle and had split in two, with one piece that includes the word, “Love,” and Quincee’s photo resting against a fence. Another piece, with her name, birthdate and date of death, was knocked off its base, a few dozen feet away.
Family members who had gathered at the cemetery to mark the three-year anniversary of Quincee’s death found the monument in ruins, and they want to know what happened. Campton Hills Police Chief Dan Hoffman is investigating and said Thursday that the monument had been run over by a vehicle, in what “appears to be intentional, or a reckless act.”
Quincee Miller was 15 years old when she took her own life Oct. 20, 2010. She had been bullied. Family members since have become strong advocates in the fight against bullying and teen suicide.
A cousin, Shawn Murphy, said family members were upset over the incident and filed a police report. Family photos of what the monument looked like while it was standing showed it was a large, prominent salute to Quincee. Near the broken monument on Thursday afternoon was a handwritten note on a sheet of lined paper, saying there would be “no hard feelings” for anyone who comes forward with information about what happened. It was signed by the Miller family.
The note urged those with information to call the cemetery, but cemetery officials had no comment Thursday. Those with information can call the Campton Hills Police Department at 630-584-0330.
Murphy said an aunt found the monument destroyed. He said there are pictures from friends who visited Sunday showing that the monument still was up and intact at some point during that day.
“It almost looks like somebody came after it, and that’s the most disheartening thing of all,” Murphy said. “It doesn’t look like it’s an accident.”
Murphy said that Quincee’s mother, Blythe Miller, is out of state, as the anniversary of the death is too painful for some in the family. Murphy said that Blythe Miller “doesn’t want to believe” it was done on purpose.
“She wants to believe that it is 100 percent an accident,” he said.
Murphy said there was a drive started to help raise the $2,000 necessary to rebuild the monument, which is available online at www.gofundme.com/4xxhng?forcedesktop=1#. That effort, launched by Haleigh Nesbitt, exceeded its goal, raising $2,101 by 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Nesbitt now lives in Georgia. She said she was a close friend of Quincee’s and wanted to do something to help. She said Quincee was “a great person, and that the family had been through so much already.
“My main thing is that I don’t want them to have to pay anything again,” Nesbitt said.
Nesbitt said she hopes whoever is responsible for the damage would “have the courage to come forward.” She said she was heartened to see the amount of money that had been raised so far.
“People are donating, and it’s restoring any faith in people that I might have lost before,” she said.
To donate to the effort to help restore Quincee Miller’s monument gravestone, visit www.gofundme.com/4xxhng?forcedesktop=1#.