Heart carving: Did Vanessa Hudgens deface Arizona red rock?

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

(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Vanessa Hudgens, left, and Austin Butler arrive at 2014 Elton John Oscar Viewing and After Party in West Hollywood, Calif. A heart carved into red rock on Valentine's Day is drawing the attention of Arizona authorities who are investigating to see if Hudgens is the culprit.

A heart carved into red rock is drawing the attention of authorities in Arizona who are investigating to see if actress Vanessa Hudgens is the culprit.

Hudgens posted a photo of the carving, bearing the names Vanessa and Austin, on her Instagram page Sunday but later removed it. Other photos with the hash tag "sedonadreams" still appeared on the site 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. Authorities are investigating the incident, he said Tuesday.

A representative for Hudgens, 27, did not immediately respond to messages left by The Associated Press. Hudgens recently appeared on Fox's live production of "Grease." She's best known for her role as Gabriella Montez in the "High School Musical" television show and movie

Smith said he isn't 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. Authorities will be researching social media posts and trying to contact any witnesses, he said.

Damaging a natural feature on U.S. Forest Service land is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $5,000 fine. Smith said he's unaware of any signs in the district to inform people of the law. Forest officials try to maintain the natural beauty of the area, he said.

"People make mistakes whether knowingly or unknowingly," Smith said.

But that doesn't excuse illegal activity, he added.

Hudgens wouldn't be the first to leave her mark in national park lands and post it on social media. 

The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colo., reports:

The Park Service said in 2014 that Casey Nocket, a 21-year-old self-styled artist from New York, was a suspect in vandalism cases spanning eight units of the United States National Park system.

“The case has not been resolved and is still open,” a National Park Service spokesman said.

Nocket had posted photos of her drawings and paintings, as well as photos of herself in several national parks on social media.

The images were scrubbed soon after the investigation was announced.

Images believed connected to Nocket were found in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado; Zion and Canyonlands national parks in Utah; Yosemite, Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks in California; and Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

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