Someone stole away with a grandmother’s corpse last week. The body of Pauline Spinelli, who has been dead since 1996, was snatched out of a New Jersey mausoleum, and police are hypothesizing that a cult may have taken the body for a ritual.
Police in Pleasantville, N.J. report that the door to a mausoleum at Greenwood Cemetery was smashed in either Thursday night or Friday morning. The thieves continued their destruction by cracking the marble casing around the casket. The body of Pauline Spinelli, who passed away at the age of 98, was then wrested out of her coffin and apparently taken from the cemetery. A cemetery worker who chose not to be identified to local news station WMGM-TV said when he we went into the mausoleum on Friday, “he was praying that he would see a body when he opened the casket that was laying out, but didn’t even find a piece of clothing.”
Police were stumped at who would snatch a body. But authorities now suspect that the body may have been taken for use in some sort of cult ritual. “It could have been a cult. Obviously these are rituals or whatever the cult rituals entail,” Pleasantville Police Captain Rocky Melendez told WMGM. “I don’t think they were casing the person for jewelry.”
Melendez told WMGM this is a first for him after more than 20 years on the police force, but he also noted that research revealed that other towns in northern New Jersey have experienced similar incidents. “At this point, we’re keeping our minds and investigative leads open to any possibility,” Melendez said to the Press of Atlantic City. “We’re reaching out to our neighboring communities so we can compare notes and see if there are any similarities or dissimilarities to try to get us on a path.”
Whatever the reason for the crime, the family is understandably upset by the crime. “I don’t know how they picked grandmom,” Rocco Spinelli said to WMGM. The family mausoleum held six bodies and only Ms. Spinelli’s was taken.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Religion: The Quandary of the Cults