Grave robbers break into mausoleum and steal body of woman who died in 1996.
New Jersey police are searching for the people responsible for stealing a woman's body from a mausoleum at the Atlantic City Cemetery in Pleasantville last week.
Cemetery workers say the mausoleum's door was pried open and that the coffin that housed the body of Pauline Spinelli was empty inside.
“The person who came here came with the tools necessary to break into that,” said Pleasantville Police Captain Rocky Melendez.
The empty coffin was discovered on Friday, according to police.
They say the body was stolen sometime between Thursday night and early Friday.
“You gotta think, they took her out of the box and threw her in the back of their car with them,” Spinelli's grandson Rocco said.
Spinelli was laid to rest inside the mausoleum with other family members in 1996.
She was 98 years old when she died.
Family members say they believe that a cult has something to do with the theft of the Spinelli's body, although police have not confirmed this possibility.
"Why would someone do this? That’s a very good question. I don’t have the answer to that. I couldn’t imagine why someone would do such a thing,” said Melendez.