Following a months-long investigation, a cemetery operator has been arrested on charges she dug up old graves to use them for new burials.
Dale LaPrade, the operator of the Park City Cemetery in Bridgeport, was arrested on a warrant in regards to the disturbance of gravesites, said Terron Jones, spokesman for the Bridgeport Police Department.
According to Jones, in September the Bridgeport Police Department Detective Bureau initiated an investigation after allegations were made of criminal conduct occurring at Park City Cemetery, specifically in regards to the disturbance of gravesites.
Detectives served two search warrants on the premises and seized financial documents and grave site maps. Detectives worked with a state anthropologist and utilized ground penetrating radar to confirm that grave sites had been disturbed, he added.
As a result of this investigation, LaPrade, who has worked as the operator for more than 12 years, was arrested on charges of interference with a cemetery and given a written promise to appear in court on Dec. 18, Jones said.
"Detective Kimberly Biehn and Jorge Cintron were the lead investigators in this case and did a thorough and outstanding job combing through evidence, and preparing a case to ensure that Mrs. LaPrade is no longer involved in daily operations at the cemetery and that the public can be rest assured, that those interred there are treated with dignity and respect," he said.
LaPrade's arrest comes less than a week after Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ordered her removed as manager of the cemetery.
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