Graffiti painted on 400 North fence makes threats to Mexicans
by Lisa J. Church
staff writer
May 02, 2013 | 5736 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Graffiti painted on a wooden fence on 400 North has raised concerns among Moab’s Latino community. The Moab Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying those responsible for the vandalism. Photo by Lisa J. Church
Graffiti painted on a wooden fence on 400 North has raised concerns among Moab’s Latino community. The Moab Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying those responsible for the vandalism. Photo by Lisa J. Church
The Moab Police Department is investigating a vandalism incident in which threatening graffiti was painted on wooden fencing at the west end of 400 North. The vandalism was discovered Wednesday morning, May 1. The painted messages included the phrase “Death To All Mexicans.”

Another message, painted on a fence located just west of the former Allen Memorial Hospital read, “MM Cartel Leave Town or Die Mexicans Deserve to Die For What You Did To Cory We Will Kill You All,” ending with a racial epithet and the word USA. Two people connected to Moab's Latino community who brought the graffiti to the attention of The Times-Independent on Wednesday said they believe it appears to refer to the recent homicide of a Mexican man in Moab because of the name "Cory" being included in the writings.. Corina Yardley, one of three people charged in connection with the shooting death of Gregorio Salazar Campos, 33, is known by the nickname "Cori." Law enforcement investigators have not yet released information regarding a motive in the Campos homicide. Yardley was allegedly involved in a relationship with Campos, according to a Moab City Police report.

Yardley, 44, has been charged with obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. Investigators allege that Yardley destroyed evidence and helped clean up blood in the bedroom of a mobile home on Riversands Road, where she and her son lived.

Yardley’s son, Brody Blu Kruckenberg, 16, and his friend, Charles Anthony Nelson, also 16, were charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as adults in 7th District Court in Moab last month. The teens were also charged with obstruction of justice.

“It’s clearly designed to cause fear and we will investigate it,” Moab Police Chief Mike Navarre said Wednesday morning. “I would like to encourage people to keep calm. And if they see anything suspicious like this, please call us. Even if it’s just a rumor, we’ll look into it.”

The graffiti and the Campos homicide have sparked fear in the Latino community, said Jim Tendick, a retired Episcopal priest in Moab who also does outreach with Latinos in southeast Utah.

“It just ramps up the fear and the rumor mill and people are feeling very much like they’re targets,” Tendick said.

He said a meeting last week between local law enforcement agencies and members of Moab’s Latino community helped allay the fears of some residents, but incidents such as the graffiti only worsen the concerns.

“There’s still not very much trust, and I think people feel very unprotected,” Tendick said.

Navarre said local law enforcement agencies are doing everything possible to protect all Moab and Grand County residents.

“We work really hard to make sure our community is one. We want people to be safe,” he said. “If people would stop posting unfounded information on Facebook and quit spreading all these rumors it would help.”

Navarre urged anyone who has information about who painted the graffiti to contact the Moab City Police Department at 435-259-8938. He said information can be provided anonymously. Tips can also be posted on the Moab Police Department’s Facebook page, which offers a tip line, he said.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.