Police Investigate Theft of Body From Casket

Police said Thursday they are investigating a theft of human remains from a mausoleum.

The body of an 85-year-old woman, whose identity was not released at her family’s request, was taken from Westminster Memorial Park Cemetery Mortuary and Florist late Monday or early Tuesday, Westminster Police Lt. Bob Burnett said.

Cemetery employees discovered the casket open and empty Wednesday, he said.

“What’s puzzling about it is that she was 5 feet up and there were other vaults below her,” Burnett said. “We don’t quite know what the significance with this particular woman is.”


Police said the cemetery fence, a combination of chain link, wrought iron and brick, had been cut, and a hammer-like tool used to remove the casket from the mausoleum.

The body had been interred at the cemetery since 1991.

Bloodhounds from the Orange County sheriff’s search and rescue team led investigators to a nearby street but then lost the trail.