Via CBS News:
A corpse has disappeared from a Pleasantvile, NJ family crypt, and Chief of Police Rocky Melendez believes that practitioners of the Afro-Caribbean religion Palo Mayombe may have been involved:
Spinelli’s body was dressed in a powdered blue gown when it was taken, according to Lafolette. Police are still 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,” Melendez said.
According to CBS Philly, police said the body may have been taken for use in some sort of ritual. They are looking into possible cult or religious activity including one group called Palo Mayombe.
“It has been said that they do use human remains and animals to do…either their sacrifices or their religious services,” Melendez said.
Chief Melendez may be jumping to conclusions in assuming Palo Mayombe’s involvement, but he may be justified in doing so: There have been several grave-robbing incidences in New Jersey connected with practitioners of the religion. In 2002, Palo Mayombe follower Oscar Cruz was arrested when police raided his Newark botanica and discovered the remains of five people in cauldrons in his basement. Two sets of remains were discovered to have been stolen from a local cemetery. Newark is a little over 40 miles away from Pleasantville.
Read the story at CBS News.