Making it right; Restitution begins on historical landmark vandalism

By Lisa Morton

Culberson County Sheriff’s Office charged two men with the graffiti of the historic castle building across from the court house.  26 year old David E Root and 22 year old Joel Lopez were arrested last Wednesday.  Both men recently relocated to Van Horn are now facing a criminal charge that could land them in jail for up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2000 each. Thanks to the information provided and a prompt investigation the culprits were caught rather quickly

The Advocate received the following statements from the vandals.  “I would like to personally apologize to the town of Van Horn and Culberson County for my actions”.  “I admit a sizeable amount of carelessness and I have actively begun restitution, not only with the historic building that has been damaged, but in the minds and hearts of my friends and the citizens around me”, said Joel Lopez.  David Root said, “I am sorry”.  “It was a dumb thing to have done that I immediately regretted and has since spiraled into a mess I couldn’t have possibly imagined, even while contemplating the consequences”.  “I plan to clean my mess and hopefully be able to move past this incident.”

The “Castle” located across from the courthouse on Highway 54 in Van Horn, has raised many questions from newcomers, tourists, local citizens.

Ghostly walls and the unkept yard hide its glamorous past well, and leave locals and tourist alike wondering what secrets the old structure hides and what those stories could tell.

John Cox, who came to Culberson County in 1885 with his family, built the large, two-story home for his wife and four children. It rang with laughter and gaiety until John’s daughter, Emmaline, ate some poison and died within a few hours. Shock and sadness hit the Coxs’.  Shortly after, they left Van Horn, but no one knows for certain if the death of their young daughter triggered the move.


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