Authorities are investigating an act of vandalism at Tumacácori National Historical Park that occurred while the park was closed during the recent partial government shutdown.
The National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB) announced Wednesday that its agents are assisting park officials in an effort to find those responsible for the damage that occurred sometime between 9 a.m. on Dec. 26 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 27.
During that period, someone reportedly etched graffiti into a wall of the park’s convent ruins, part of the 1800s-era mission complex, the ISB said. The names “Ferny and Nicky” were carved into one of the structure’s interior walls.
The Tumacácori park closed to the public on Dec. 22 when an impasse in Washington over President Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall led to a partial shutdown of the federal government. Because of the lapse in federal appropriations, the park’s mission grounds, orchard, maintenance and administrative facilities were closed and entry into those areas was prohibited, the ISB said.
The park re-opened on Jan. 26 after Trump signed a bill temporarily ending the shutdown. “Graffiti is vandalism and is extremely difficult to remove,” the agency said. “Repair of vandalized sites, if possible, is costly and time consuming, and often cannot restore the site to its former condition. These acts are also illegal.”
Investigators ask anyone with information about the vandalism to call or text the ISB Tip Line at 1-888-653-0009. Callers can remain anonymous.