Monument to Michelle Obama’s ancestor knocked down

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(CNN) — A stone monument in Rex, Georgia, celebrating first lady Michelle Obama’s great-great-great grandmother Melvinia Shields was knocked over from its pedestal onto a concrete slab Saturday night.

“It was done purposely. If I had to speculate some people may think it was a prank; not realizing what a serious matter it is. I really believe we have gone beyond any other motives,” Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton told CNN Tuesday during a phone conversation.

Clayton County has an open investigation into the incident, but has no leads, Singleton said.

A new monument was expected to be installed Tuesday, almost a year after the original stone was erected on June 26, 2012.

Born into slavery, Melvinia Shields was listed on an 1870 census document as a farm laborer, washwoman and maid, according to a historical website run by the State of Georgia. She was later described as a midwife.

After a New York Times article linked Shields to Michelle Obama in 2009, the town of Rex decided to dedicate a monument in her honor. The now-annual Melvinia Shields celebration is slated to take place later this month.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.