CUSTER | The Custer County Sheriff's Office walked back a statement that authorities had identified the two suspects in an incident of vandalism at the popular hiking spot Poet's Table in Custer State Park.
At 5 p.m. today, the sheriff's office announced on its Facebook page that the two suspects had been identified, but a later post said they people have not been identified.
A dispatcher at Custer County declined to comment to the Journal, saying “Everything will be updated on our Facebook page.”
The post by the sheriff's office also says no further information from the public is needed. About 225 comments have been posted to the sheriff’s page reacting to the women who absconded with the table.
Social media posts were circulating Sunday morning that showed what looked like two women sawing Poet's Table in half and carrying it in pieces down a trail. Another photo showed the table and chairs in the back of a pickup.
A video of the woman in a grey workout T-shirt sawing the famed table in two has been posted to Facebook by Michael Radlinger and viewed by 35,000 people.
One poster, Tara Rose Weston, said on Facebook that she witnessed the table being taken down and the suspects told her “it’s much nicer now, girls.” She said they told her the table, which is covered in poetic verse, “wasn’t being taken care of.”
The sheriff's office and Custer State Park law enforcement officials are investigating.
Poet's Table was created by John Raeck in the 1960s. It was once a well-kept secret in the Black Hills, but recently the spot has gained more popularity. It consisted of a green table and chairs on a high granite vista in Custer State Park. Hikers would leave poetry and other writings at the location.