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Woman's Remains Stolen From Atlantic County Cemetery

By Robin Rieger

PLEASANTVILLE, N. J. (CBS) - "I feel completely violated, there are six family members there," said Paula Lafolette of Wilmington.

Where there is supposed to be peace, there is unrest for Lafolette and other family members of Pauline Spinelli, who lived in Hammonton.

Police say her remains, buried in 1996 at age 98, were stolen late Thursday night or early Friday morning from the mausoleum she had built for her family at the Atlantic City Cemetery on Washington Avenue in Pleasantville.

Police said the sanctity of the tomb was shattered possibly with a boulder that still sits by the door.

"They then went through [the] process of forcibly removing the lock," said Pleasantville Police Captain Rocky Melendez.

Melendez said once inside, someone broke and moved the stone that covered Spinelli's interment space.

"The casket had been removed, had been pried open," he said.

And Spinelli's body, dressed in a powdered blue gown, according to her granddaughter Paula Lafolette, was taken

"Why? Why would you want this woman? Why? What are you doing? What's going through your mind? You're sick," said Lafolette when asked what she would say to the person responsible.

Police are investigating.

"To go the extra step and remove the casket, pry it open and remove the body, I don't want to hang my hat on just vandalism," said Melendez.

They are looking into possible cult or religious group activity including one called Palo Mayombe.

"It has been said that they do use human remains and animals to do their, either their sacrifices or their religious services," Melendez said.

He asked if anyone has information that could help police locate the body or the person or people responsible call Pleasantville police at 609-641-6100.

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