5 suspects identified in C. Ore. cave vandalism

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BEND, Ore. (AP) -- A Deschutes National Forest spokeswoman says Forest Service law enforcement officials have identified and interviewed five suspects in the recent vandalism of a popular central Oregon cave.

Spokeswoman Jean Nelson-Dean said Thursday the Hidden Forest Cave case has been referred to the U.S. Justice Department. She declined to provide more information on the five.

In late April, the cave in the China Hat area south of Bend was heavily vandalized. The spokeswoman says graffiti was sprayed on nearby trees and on many of the cave's features. Trees and rocks were damaged and fires destroyed many of the cave's cultural and ecological resources.