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The Latest: 130 gravesites disturbed at Connecticut cemetery

December 07, 2018 - 7:20 am
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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on the mass desecrations of graves at a Connecticut cemetery (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Officials say about 130 graves were disturbed at a Connecticut cemetery that includes the remains of Civil War veterans to make way for new graves over the past seven years.

Police and other officials in Bridgeport, Connecticut, held a news conference Thursday, hours after the longtime caretaker at Park Cemetery was arrested.

Complaints from relatives of those buried at the cemetery led police to search the property in September. Officials say gravestones and human remains were moved to make way for the newly dead, while human bones, casket pieces and broken gravestones were found in the woods.

Caretaker Dale LaPrade was charged with felony interference with a cemetery and released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 18. She declined to comment.

Relatives called the arrest justice for their loved ones.

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11:15 a.m.

A former cemetery caretaker has declined to comment after being arrested in connection with the desecration of dozens of graves at a Connecticut burial ground.

Bridgeport police say Dale LaPrade turned herself in Thursday after being told there was an arrest warrant. She was charged with felony interference with a cemetery and released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 18.

Complaints from relatives of those buried at Park Cemetery led police to search the property in September. Officials say gravestones and human remains were moved to make way for the newly dead, while human bones, casket pieces and broken gravestones were found in the woods.

A state’s attorney says he has never seen the interference with a cemetery charge used before.

LaPrade texted The Associated Press saying she had no comment.

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10 a.m.

A former cemetery caretaker has been arrested in connection with the desecration of dozens of graves at the Connecticut burial ground she and her husband oversaw for decades.

Bridgeport police say Dale LaPrade turned herself in Thursday after being told there was a warrant for her arrest. She was charged with felony interference with a cemetery and released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 18.

Complaints from relatives of those buried at Park Cemetery led police to search the property in September. Officials say gravestones and human remains were moved to make way for the newly dead, while human bones, casket pieces and broken gravestones were found in the woods.

A state judge ousted LaPrade as caretaker last week.

Messages seeking comment were left with LaPrade on Thursday.

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10:40 p.m.

A mass desecration of graves at a Connecticut cemetery has devastated dozens of families while police determine whether to file criminal charges.

Authorities say gravestones and human remains at Park Cemetery in Bridgeport were moved to make way for the newly dead.

A layer of dirt was placed in some areas to allow for new burials atop old ones. Human bones, casket pieces and old headstones were found in the woods.

Relatives estimate more than 100 graves were either disinterred or had new remains buried above them. They’re now trying to restore an oversight board and determine whether everyone is buried where they should be.

A state judge ousted the cemetery caretaker last week because of the conditions.

Police are investigating, but no arrests have been announced.

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