Statues of children beheaded, Virgin Mary vandalized at Hayward church

- Statues of three children and a lamb were beheaded outside St. Bede Catholic Church in Hayward. It's a case of vandalism that parishioners say is heartless. 

Janine Durana teaches first grade at the school. She says her children saw the damaged statues as they came to school with their grandmother several weeks ago.

"My two-year-old came to me and said, 'Bad guys came into grandma's church and cut off the heads of the children,'" Durana said. 

But that wasn't all. 

"They cut off mother Mary's hands and took out her left eye," Durana said her children told her.

The statues depict three children who were herding sheep when they reported seeing a luminous lady believed to be the Virgin Mary, in Fatima, Portugal, 100 years ago. 

"I kind of see it as a hate crime," Durana said.

Hayward police say they have no surveillance video or witnesses, so a motive is unclear.

This isn't the first time the statue of Mary has been vandalized. In 2004, someone knocked the statue down and her head came off. The repairs are still visible.

In a statement, the Oakland Diocese says, "The violence displayed in this act is senseless and unjustifiable. As Our Lady of Fatima calls us, we pray for mercy for those harmed by this act, the perpetrators and all who are affected by violence."

 Parishioners and parents said they were shocked.

"Sick people," said John Soriano of Hayward. "I mean they know kids are walking by seeing that all the time and for them to do something like that for the kids to see? Troubling."

Giovanni Usison of Hayward agreed, saying, "This is a church. This is a school. I feel terrible about what happened, you know?"

Anyone with information is asked to call Hayward police.

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