GONZALES - The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is trying to identify who would destroy a large marble statue of Saint Mark.
Sometime between late Christmas night and early Monday morning, investigators say, someone destroyed the statue at St. Mark Catholic Church on LA 621.
"I was surprised. Who could do this," Father Rubin Reynolds questioned. "That was my first thing."
Described as the icon of their parish and valued between $7,000 and $10,000, Fr. Reynolds said the statue had been in front of the Church for 42 years.
He called the sheriff's office Monday afternoon to report the statue had been toppled and smashed to several pieces.
"It's shocking that someone would vandalize anything on church property," Kevin Rowell, a parishioner, said.
Three weeks ago, vandals tore up a Christmas display at Jambalaya Park.
Ornaments for the city's Christmas tree were broken, lights were ripped from the fences, and a bathroom was turned upside down.
That case is still under investigation. Police and the sheriff's office are not ruling out they could be connected.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office at 621-8300.