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Saturday 17 March 2018

Vanessa Hudgens investigated over Valentine's Day rock carving

Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler, pictured at Sir Elton John's 2014 Oscar party (AP)
Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler, pictured at Sir Elton John's 2014 Oscar party (AP)

Actress Vanessa Hudgens is being investigated over a heart that was carved into red rock in Arizona on Valentine's Day.

Hudgens posted a photo of the carving, bearing the names Vanessa and Austin, on her Instagram page on Sunday but later removed it.

Other photos with the hash tag "sedonadreams" still appeared on the site on Tuesday.

The media brought the photo to the attention of the Coconino National Forest, which manages land around Sedona renowned for the towering red rocks, spokesman Brady Smith said, and the authorities are investigating.

Hudgens recently appeared on Fox's live TV production of Grease. She is best known for her role as Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical television show and film, and is in a relationship with actor Austin Butler.

Mr Smith said he is not sure whether law enforcement has located a heart that matches the one posted by Hudgens within the forest's 250 square-mile Red Rock Ranger District.

They will be researching social media posts and trying to contact any witnesses, he said.

Damaging a natural feature on US Forest Service land is punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum 5,000 dollar (£3,500) fine.

Mr Smith said he is unaware of any signs in the district to inform people of the law, and forest officials try to maintain the natural beauty of the area.

"People make mistakes whether knowingly or unknowingly," he said, but warned that did not excuse illegal activity.

Press Association

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