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Vanessa Hudgens and Boyfriend Austin Butler Under Investigation for Alleged Vandalism at National Park

( [email protected] ) Feb 18, 2016 09:35 AM EST
After spending Valentine's Day together, Vanessa Hudgens and boyfriend Austin Butler are now under investigation for allegedly defacing a rock at the Coconino National Forest in Sedona, Arizona. According to authorities, the two reportedly carved a heart and their names on one of the park's rocks at the Red Rock Ranger District.
Vanessa Hudgens and her boyfriend Austin Butler in Arizona. Twitter / Vanessa Hudgens

After spending Valentine's Day together, Vanessa Hudgens and boyfriend Austin Butler are now under investigation for allegedly defacing a rock at the Coconino National Forest in Sedona, Arizona. According to authorities, the two reportedly carved a heart and their names on one of the park's rocks at the Red Rock Ranger District.

Officials from the U.S. Forest Service kicked off the investigation after Hudgens posted a photo of the carving on her Instagram account. The image, however, was immediately taken down by the actress, Independent reported.

Authorities said that they are still trying to coordinate with witnesses to verify the allegations against Hudgens and Butler. It is not yet clear if they have found the carving which matches the one shown in Hudgens' photo.

According to Brady Smith of the U.S. Forest Service, vandalism on a national park is considered as a federal offense. If found guilty, Hudgens and Butler could face jail time of up to six months and settle a maximum fine of $5,000.

Smith also noted that defacement has become a recurring problem for forest officials despite their efforts of educating the public about preserving the natural beauty of national parks.

"I can say that the issue of people carving their names and other things in rocks in the Sedona and surrounding area is always a challenge we face, and [we] try to inform people about its destructive nature," he said according to CNN.

"We have found that when one person carves something, it encourages others to carve," Smith added. "Carving of any kind affects the natural beauty of the area."

Smith, however, admitted that he is not sure if there are signs around the park warning visitors about vandalism. But, he maintained that whether the carvings were done by mistake or not, the act is still considered as an illegal activity.

Social media users, especially those living in Arizona, to their various online accounts to criticize Hudgens and Butler. Many of them found the act disrespectful and largely destructive.

The actress, however, has not yet released a statement regarding the issue. However, as noted by People, it seems the investigation is not bothering her as she was seen on Tuesday having a night out with her friends in Los Angeles.

Tags : Vanessa Hudgens Boyfriend, Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler, Vanessa Hudgens Controversy, Coconino National Forest