Cemetery Finishes With Reburials

Workers at Wilmington Cemetery completed the grim task this week of reburying the last of 190 caskets that were improperly laid to rest or buried without markers during the last three years, cemetery board Chairman Dade Albright said Tuesday.

"That part is done and now it's a matter of going over the paperwork," Albright said, referring to records at the 135-year-old cemetery in East Wilmington.

Two months ago, cemetery officials began unearthing caskets for proper burials after it was discovered that many were placed only inches below the ground and, in some cases, were buried without any records to properly identify their location.

Since that time, Albright has blamed the improper burials on the cemetery's former caretaker, Joe Koosed, who was fired Oct. 9 from his $90,000-a-year job. Koosed, in turn, has insisted that any improper burials were the result of sloppy management of the graveyard by its cemetery board.

After the cemetery records are compiled, Albright said, they will be turned over to Los Angeles police. Harbor Division Detective Terry Kirkbride has previously said his investigation of Wilmington Cemetery would be suspended until the reburials were completed.

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