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Body, Casket Stolen From Cemetery Found In Detroit

DETROIT (WWJ) - The body of an elderly man stolen from a Detroit cemetery has been found in the basement of his son's home on the city's east side.

Sgt. Eren Stephens also said police now have two people in custody, the deceased man's 48-year-old son and a 38-year-old man. Reports say the son was allegedly keeping his father's body in a freezer while "awaiting God's resurrection."

Police say a casket with a 93-year-old man's body inside was stolen from Gethsemane Cemetery between 8 and 9:30 a.m. Monday by someone driving a purple pickup truck and a white van. A person of interest was identified and police went to work collecting details.

An officer on patrol found a white van matching a description of the suspect vehicle around 7:05 a.m. Tuesday, along with the person of interest inside the vehicle at a gas station on Harper Avenue and Dickerson Street, about two miles away from the cemetery.

Police say an empty casket was found in the back of the van. Further investigation led police to the son's residence on Eastlawn Street, near Warren and Chalmers, where the deceased man's body was found in a freezer.

An investigation is ongoing.

A funeral was held for the man on Saturday, but rain over the weekend softened the ground, forcing the burial to be postponed. The casket was placed in a mausoleum until conditions improved, and was discovered missing Monday by workers preparing for the burial.

Detroit police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 313-596-1340 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

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