Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The Indiana Health Department has approved a request by the nephew of John Dillinger to exhume the body of the notorious gangster on New Year's Eve in Indianapolis.
On Friday, the agency approved the application filed by Michael Thompson on Sept. 23. The document, which also includes an affidavit by his niece Carol Thompson, was originally filed Sept. 9 but had to be refiled because the wrong date for the exhumation was given.
The permit allows the family to "disinter," "remove" and "reinter human remains."
But Crown Hill Cemetery has refused to remove the body and the matter is now in the courts.
Cemetery officials have said in a statement they had a "duty to ensure the safety and integrity of the cemetery."
Initially, his body was to be exhumed as part of a History channel documentary but the network decided to cease production of the documentary last month.
Thompson contends his uncle is not buried in Crown Hill Cemetery. In an affidavit, he notes in the that he was "presented with evidence that demonstrates that the individual who was shot and killed at the Biograph Theater in Chicago on July 22,1934, may not in fact have been my uncle."
At the time, he was 31.
He said there is non-matching eye color, his head shape, non-matching fingerprints, the existence of a heart condition and non-matching teeth.
"It is my belief and opinion that, if the FBI killed the wrong man outside the Biograph Theater, it is also important to identify the man in the grave at Crown Hill Cemetery," Thompson writes.
But the FBI disputes his relatives' assertions.
In a post on Twitter, the FBI Chicago office said there "a wealth of information" supported their story of Dillinger's demise, including three sets of fingerprints.
And the FBI's historian talks about the case in a 2009 video.
Dillinger, known as "public enemy No. 1" operated with men known as the "Dillinger Gang" or "The Terror Gang," They allegedly robbed 24 banks and four police stations.
Dillinger twice escaped.