Southeast : Body Relocated at Troubled Cemetery

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Gravediggers dug up the remains of a corpse Thursday at the Paradise Memorial Park in Santa Fe Springs for relocation today to another area of the cemetery.

It was the first of what are expected to be numerous relocations at the behest of surviving family members, who are distressed about alleged improprieties at the cemetery.

State officials seized the cemetery last month after turning up evidence that its operators unearthed bodies to resell graves. Investigators also suspect the operators engaged in the illegal practice of burying more than one body in a grave without permission of family members.


The scandal has sparked at least three lawsuits. The latest, announced Thursday, seeks damages for emotional distress inflicted upon a mother and daughter who have relatives buried at the cemetery.

Two of the three owners of the cemetery have denied culpability in the illegal practices, blaming the third. Victor Fortner, who had been in charge of day-to-day operations since 1974, reportedly told investigators he was unaware that he had been breaking the law.