Reward offered for information about Springfield Children’s Memorial vandals

Family and friends gathered for the dedication of a sanctuary at the site where Martha Leach, 11, and Phree Morrow, 12, were murdered in an alley behind Schuler's Bakery on West Main Street in August 1992.

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Family and friends gathered for the dedication of a sanctuary at the site where Martha Leach, 11, and Phree Morrow, 12, were murdered in an alley behind Schuler's Bakery on West Main Street in August 1992.

The creator of the Children’s Memorial in Springfield, which honors two girls who were killed in 1992, is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the conviction of people who are involved in a recent string of vandalism at the monument.

Springfield Police Division on May 18 were called to the memorial on a report of vandalism. Property owner Vernon Donnelly told police that he caught four boys on security footage cracking the glass of the fish food machine with long pieces of wood, according to an incident report.

Donnelly told police that the group of boys has come to the memorial four times in the past few months, damaging something at the memorial after each trip. The visits occurred between 1-2 a.m. each time.

The building on the memorial site’s north side has broken windows and a damaged door.

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Police weren’t able to identify people in the security footage, as it was in black and white, but the group of boys appears to be between 14-17 years old, the incident report said.

No charges have been filed.

The memorial, located on Penn Street, honors Phree Morrow and Martha Leach, two young girls who were left on the memorial’s site behind Schuler’s Bakery after being brutally murdered. The memorial also has multiple plaques honoring children in Ohio.

The Children’s Memorial has seen multiple instances of vandalism since its opening in 2011: the water pump in the pond on site has been stolen, killing most of the fish. The lot has also been tagged with graffiti.

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