Grave robbers break open concrete tombs and unseal four caskets to steal human remains – and remove the HEAD from one corpse – for ‘ritualistic activity’ in Florida
- Police are investigating grave pillaging at cemetery in Mount Dora, Florida
- Investigators suspect ‘ritualistic activity’ after four graves were plundered
- Horrified witness says corpse dragged from grave was missing its head
Police are investigating suspected ‘ritualistic activity’ after human remains were stolen from graves in a Florida cemetery.
At least four graves were found pillaged on Sunday in the Edgewood Cemetery in Mount Dora, a city of about 9,000 located 30 miles northwest of Orlando, according to WKMG-TV.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said that a woman and her mother were driving past the cemetery when they noticed a grave stone that had been disturbed.
As they drove in to investigate, they found multiple graves had been broken into.
At least four graves were found pillaged on Sunday in the Edgewood Cemetery in Mount Dora, Florida. At least one of the bodies was missing a head, a witness said
Investigators ‘found evidence that suggests that this incident is very likely tied to some form of ritualistic activity’ according to the sheriff’s department
Police said vandals disturbed four graves, all of which were missing some remains, and attempted to access a fifth.
‘Detectives and crime scene investigators responded to the scene and began the investigation and found evidence that suggests that this incident is very likely tied to some form of ritualistic activity,’ a sheriff’s office spokesman said in a statement.
Witness Emily Booth, who reported the vandalism, said that she saw the body of a man dragged out of the grave. The body had been decapitated, she said.
‘His body was just laying there. No vault, no top of the coffin, no anything,’ Booth told WESH-TV.
‘I do think it’s extremely odd that you took a man’s head. What else do you do with that?’ Booth added.
Neighbors near the cemetery did not report hearing any loud noises and noted that there had been a funeral at the cemetery on Saturday, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Neighbors near the cemetery (above) did not report hearing any loud noises and noted that there had been a funeral at the cemetery on Saturday
After the grave robbery was reported, a Mount Dora police officer noted that he had seen a half-erect ‘white pop-up tent’ in the cemetery early on Sunday morning.
The cemetery owner said that they did not use such equipment for funerals, and that any equipment from Saturday’s funeral would have been removed before Sunday.
It is not the first report of grave robbery in Florida, and South Florida, particularly the area around Miami, has long dealt with a plague of human remains theft.
Human bones are rumored to be used in voodoo religious ceremonies, and a human skull can reportedly fetch up to $1,000 for such purposes.
Two years ago, the grave of a long-dead WWII veteran was vandalized in Bartow, Florida by grave robbers who dug up his body, removed the clothes and left them on the ground.
In another bizarre case, five men were accused in 1990 of stealing a body from a cemetery in Lake City, Florida for use in a ceremony connected to the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.