The grave of an Elgin schoolboy was vandalised just hours after his family made an emotional donation to a hospital in his memory.
Jayden Ravello was 10 when he died suddenly in his sleep in late 2016, and is buried in New Elgin Cemetery on Linkwood Road.
His loved ones have since resolved to make sure the outgoing youngster is never forgotten and this week handed over a special “snuggle blanket”, worth £3,800, to Dr Gray’s Hospital.
The cooling mat allows families to spend a longer time with their children after they die as it preserves their bodies.
Mum and dad, Michelle and Kerry, seven-year-old son Tyrese and baby Lucas brought a framed picture of Jayden to the hospital so that he could be there in spirit during the presentation.
And after visiting Dr Gray’s, the Ravello family took a trip to the cemetery to lay some ornaments at his grave.
However, hours later the freshly placed trinkets were “trashed” and other mementoes laden with sentimental value were removed and tossed around Jayden’s gravestone.
Mrs Ravello said she has been left “utterly heartbroken” by the callous act.
The 31-year-old added: “We check on Jayden every day, sometimes twice a day, and to see this has broken us all.”
Police say the vandalism took place between 5pm on Thursday and 10.30am yesterday, and have appealed for help in identifying the culprit.
Constable Jamie Dey, who is leading the investigation, said: “Inquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances of this appalling crime.
“Given the secluded nature of the location, we are relying on members of the public who may have been at the cemetery during the times in question to please let us know if they saw anything out of the ordinary.
“Likewise, if they have any information whatsoever about who might be responsible they should please contact the police.”
The incident is not the first time the popular Seafield Primary School pupil’s grave has been targeted.
Last summer a “quirky” gnome ornament was stolen from his resting place.
It had been left there in tribute to Jayden’s sense of fun, and provided some light relief for Tyrese when he visited the spot.
Last night, Mrs Ravello added: “This needs to stop and I hope, for all the grieving families out there, someone is caught and this is stopped.
“It could be anyone they target next, we hope this was a random attack and have no reason to think otherwise.”
Jayden died in his sleep because of an undetected “one in a million” condition, with his cause of death recorded as an abdominal hernia and intestinal infarction which obstructed his blood supply.
More than 500 people gathered with his loved ones to release balloons and lanterns in a moving display at Cooper Park in the following days.
Friends, family and well-wishers have raised more than £8,000 in Jayden’s memory since an online appeal was launched last month.
The soaring tally means that the Ravello family will now be able to purchase another blanket to be kept at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee – with some cash still to spare.
Mrs Ravello added: “From our own experience we know how important spending that extra time with your child can be.”
Anyone with information has been urged to contact the police on 101, quoting reference number 1207 of March 30, or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111 if they would prefer to remain anonymous.