Cemetery workers made $300K in gravedigging scheme

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Authorities say four former cemetery employees accused of digging up bodies and reselling plots at a historic black cemetery near Chicago made about $300,000 in a scheme believed to have stretched back at least four years.

Authorities say remains were dumped in a vacant portion of the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip. Bodies were also buried in plots already occupied.

The cemetery is the burial place of civil rights-era lynching victim Emmett Till and blues singers Willie Dixon and Dinah Washington.

While Till’s grave site was not disturbed, police say investigators found his original casket rusting in a shack.

The suspects are charged with dismembering a human body. A Cook County sheriff’s spokesman said Friday that financial charges are expected.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.