GNR police are investigating a dismal first in cemetery-raiding in Monção. Thieves broke into a mausoleum in the Troviscoso cemetery, making off with a lead casket that held the skeletal remains of a local person laid to rest over 30 years ago.
Not wanting the skeleton, the raiders simply tipped it onto the debris that they had created by breaking into the tomb – leaving shocked cemetery workers to clean everything up.
“Our concern was to retrieve the mortal remains,” a source told national tabloid Correio da Manhã.
According to local funeral agency director Agostinho Lourenço, “nothing like this has ever happened before”.
The thieves must have done their ‘homework’ however. Cemetery worker Tiffany Fernandes told Jornal de Notícias that bodies placed in a mausoleum habitually had to have two caskets. The customary wooden coffin, and inside this a metal variety.
Lead was used in ‘the old days’, while these days any bodies placed in mausoleums are put in zinc caskets.