WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - New witnesseswho seem to have information that U.S. Park Police could use in their investigation ofthe Lincoln Memorial vandalism case talked exclusively to WUSA9.
The witnesses have photos and may be the first to spot the wet green and white paint that someone threw on the famous statue in the early morning hours on Friday.
Erin Gilliss of Parker, Colorado took photographs that show her Northern Virginia friend and their family members along with a group of unidentified people in the background prior to when police arrived.
Her friend, Jamie McDaniel of Stafford, Va. expressed concern that police did not interview her or review what she believes might be important photographic evidence.
She says National Park Police hurried them out.
Photographs distributed by Getty Images appear to support the woman's claims that she saw white paint too. She also says she saw soda cans and bottles filled with paint.
She says she saw a group of young people surrounding the Lincoln Memorial and felt U.S. Park Police dismissed her reports.
"My friend and I discovered the vandalism and alerted police about the Lincoln Memorial," says Jamie McDaniel. "I was surprised there was no mention of the footprints we found."
The woman was giving a Colorado visitor a late night tour of the memorial when they came upon the vandalism.
None of the subjects in the pictures are being identified as suspects.
While we were reporting at the Lincoln Memorial, police approached Jamie McDaniel and took down her information.
According to a National Park Service spokesperson, the National Mall Historic Preservation Crew has removed approximately 90 percent of the paint. The same spokesperson says the gentlest cleansing methodswere used first to remove the paint in accordance with conservation protocol. After those methods are used, "incrementally stronger products will be used until the stone is clean," said the spokesperson. According to the spokesperson, the crew will apply poultices to remaining paint Monday and powerwash the area onTuesday. The process could continue for several days.