Graffiti painted on 400 North fence makes threats to Mexicans
by Lisa J. Church
staff writer
May 02, 2013 | 3822 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 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
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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.

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