Police end investigation at cemetery

Aug. 7, 2009 at 4:36 PM

CHICAGO, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The investigation into the violation of graves at a historic black cemetery in the Chicago area was declared closed Friday.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said investigators have enough evidence for the criminal cases against four former employees of Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, The Chicago Tribune reported. The four allegedly removed bodies so cemetery plots could be resold.

While hundreds of human bones have been discovered, authorities do not plan to use DNA testing to try to identify them. The Chicago Burr Oak Cemetery Historic Society, a non-profit organization formed after the criminal investigation began, and officials plan to create a suitable memorial for those whose graves were violated, Dart said.

The cemetery is the final resting place of several well-known musicians and sports stars as well as Emmett Till, the Chicago teenager killed in Mississippi in 1954. While Till's grave was not touched, police found his original coffin, replaced after his body was exhumed in 2005, dumped in a garage. The cemetery employees allegedly stole contributions to a fund to build a memorial to Till.

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