Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images
Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images

Graffiti inspired by the note left by the inmates who escaped from a state prison has been scrawled at a Binghamton park named in the memory of a girl who was killed in the neighborhood three decades ago.

The spray-painted "smiley face" and the message "Have a Nice Day" were spotted at the Cheri Lindsey Memorial Park on June 10.

The graffiti was a reproduction of the yellow note found June 6 after David Sweat and Richard Matt broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility.

Jesse Ryan, who visits the park regularly, expressed shock and disappointment at the graffiti. The park is a few blocks from where Cheri Lindsey was killed in March 1984.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Ryan said he felt the graffiti was "kind of disrespecting" those who use the park and those who live nearby.

Ryan said graffiti is an ongoing problem at the park. He said he and others occasionally will cover up offensive messages as they are spotted.

Cheri Lindsey was 12 years old when she disappeared while collecting on her newspaper route near her home. James Wales Sr., who was convicted of murder in her death, is serving a 33-year-to-life sentence at the Elmira Correctional Facility.

Cheri was the daughter of David Lindsey, who was a Binghamton police department sergeant when she was killed. He could not be reached to comment on the graffiti in the park named in memory of Cheri.

David Sweat, one of the escapees still being sought, was serving a life sentence for killing Broome County sheriff's deputy Kevin Tarsia in 2002.

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