WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita woman said someone tried to destroy her late brother’s memorial.
As the Arkansas River water flows and the birds chirp, Misty Yardley sits on a bench nearby and reflects on the many memories she and her younger brother Chris Samuels shared on the water.
“I picture him in the river. That’s not hard to picture. That’s where he has been half of his life. He was just in the water doing something, always,” said Misty Yardley.
Yardley describes her brother as an outdoors man, a family man, and someone who loved making other smile.
“He was one of my best friends. He was the goofiest, friendliest, smartest person that I really have known,” Yardley said.
Samuels died on May 4, 2014 of a brain aneurysm.
“Instead of hearing from him, I heard from my mother telling me that EMS was there and they couldn’t do anything for him,” Yardley said.
Yardley and her family raised nearly $3,000 to install a park bench and memorial plaque at the South Arkansas River Canoe Launch, one of his favorite locations.
“We spent a lot of time here, so it just seemed perfect,” she said.
Yardley said the memorial was perfect until she visited it on her brother’s anniversary death on May 4, 2017 and noticed it had been vandalized.
“It was a shock all over again. I feel that he has been attacked,” Yardley said.
Yardley said it appeared someone slashed the face of his plaque and shot it with a BB gun .
“I just feel that whoever did this should know that it’s not something to play around with,” she said. “It may be something that can be replaced, but the feeling is not repairable.”
Wichita police are investigating this incident as a destruction of property case. They do not have any leads at this time.
Yardley said she and her family are looking into replacing the plaque, but are still figuring out the cost and other logistics.