Four workers for a historic Black cemetery outside of Chicago, Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, have been charged with digging up the remains of the deceased and reselling grave sites. Authorities are indicating as many as 300 or more graves may have been disturbed, with many bodies double buried in existing plots. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, each suspect was charged with one count of dismembering a human body.
The cemetery is the final resting place of Emmett Till, blues legend Dinah Washington and heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles. Reports from various media sources indicate that the family members of the deceased have descended upon the cemetery out of concern that their loved ones’ remains had been disturbed. They were among FBI agents and police who were on the scene attempting to begin the process of verifying remains. The Cook County Sheriff has indicated that some employees of the cemetery alerted its owner, a Texas based holding company, to the grave robbing scheme and the business contacted law enforcement agencies.