Ex-Manager Of Bone-Strewn Cemetery Charged With Embezzling

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A former caretaker of a Connecticut cemetery wherepolice found bones strewn about and new graves placed over old ones is facing anew charge of embezzling more than $60,000 from the cemetery. Dale LaPrade, 66, was charged with first-degree larceny on Sept. 10 after aforensic audit discovered the theft of funds from Park Cemetery in Bridgeportbetween 2016 and 2018. Police announced her arrest on Tuesday. ``A forensic fraud examiner who assisted detectives determined that LaPrademade several cash withdraws a day in some instances, and utilized over $60,000of cemetery funds for personal expenses that were earmarked for burials andperpetual care,'' Bridgeport police said in a statement. A woman who answered a phone listing for LaPrade on Wednesday declined tocomment. Messages seeking comment were left with her public defender, KellyBillings. LaPrade, of Stratford, was previously charged with felony interfering with acemetery and larceny. She has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. In 2018, Bridgeport authorities said they found about 130 graves disturbed atthe 57-acre cemetery, included those of Civil War veterans. Gravestones andremains had been removed to make way for the newly dead, while some new graveswere stacked on top of old ones, separated by a layer of dirt. Officials found headstones and human bones thrown about on part of theproperty. A state judge appointed a panel to oversee the cemetery after LaPrade's firstarrest, and it has spent nearly $90,000 on cleaning up the cemetery, HearstConnecticut Media reported.

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