Vandals carved the names "Ferny and Nicky" into the interior walls of a 1800-era mission complex on federal land, officials say.

Agents with the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch are helping Tumacácori National Historical Park officials investigate vandalism to the park’s convento ruins, which occurred on Dec. 26 or 27, 2018, according to a news release put out by the park.

The vandalism happened during the government shutdown and the mission grounds were closed and entry was prohibited, the press release said. 

The Tumacácori National Park and mission grounds are sites of important history, which include O’odham, Yaqui and Apache people first meeting with European Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, settlers and soldiers.

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Offiicals say the vandalism will be costly and difficult to remove, and repairs may not fully restore the mission to its former condition.

Anyone who has any information can call or text 888-653-0009, email nps_isb@nps.gov or submit online at www.nps.gov/ISB. Anonymous tips are accepted.

Contact reporter Danyelle Khmara at dkhmara@tucson.com or 573-4223. On Twitter: @DanyelleKhmara

Reporter

Danyelle joined the Star in 2018 and covers K-12 education. Previously, Danyelle wrote for the Tucson Weekly where she won several statewide awards including story of the year and first place investigative reporting.