Vandals Again Desecrate Grave of AIDS Victim Ryan White
CICERO, Ind. (AP) _ Vandals again desecrated the grave of Ryan White, the young AIDS victim who gained worldwide recognition by fighting discrimination against those with the disease, police said Monday.
White’s 6-foot 8-inch gravestone at Cicero Cemetery was toppled sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, the fourth time White’s grave had been vandalized. In previous instances, vandals had used paint or uprooted flowers, police said.
Ryan’s mother, Jeanne White, offered a $500 reward for information leading to the vandals’ arrests.
″It’s a quiet cemetery and I don’t know why they can’t leave him to rest,″ Mrs. White said.
Hamilton County Deputy Sheriff Jon Robison said no arrests has been made by Monday afternoon.
″I don’t know what their motive was. I don’t believe that any other graves were desecrated. I believe it was targeted to the (White) grave,″ Robison said.
White, a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS from blood transfusions, fought a legal battle for five years against school officials who barred him from attending classes, saying he posed a risk to other students. He won that fight, which became the basis of a television movie about his life.
White died April 8, 1990. Among those who attended his funeral were first lady Barbara Bush, entertainers Elton John and Michael Jackson and talk show host Phil Donahue.