Ex-director convicted of stealing from cemetery

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Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he’s happy the former director of a historic cemetery south of Chicago has been convicted in a money-making scheme that involved digging up bodies and reselling plots.

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he’s happy the former director of a historic cemetery south of Chicago has been convicted in a money-making scheme that involved digging up bodies and reselling plots.

Dart says 51-year-old Carolyn Towns was "the mastermind" of the scheme uncovered by the sheriff’s department in 2009.

Towns pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. She was director of Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip when prosecutors say she and three workers desecrated hundreds of graves.

The sheriff says the conviction won’t bring closure to family members with loved ones buried at Burr Oak. Dart says since human remains were scattered over a wide area and crushed into the ground, it’s impossible for many relatives to know where their loved ones are.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

(AP Photo/Cook County Sheriff’s Office, File)

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