Caretaker arrested in desecration of Bridgeport cemetery

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LaPrade was charged with felony interference with a cemetery and released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 18. LaPrade was charged with felony interference with a cemetery and released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 18.
BRIDGEPORT -

A former Bridgeport cemetery caretaker has been arrested in connection with the desecration of dozens of graves at the Connecticut burial ground she and her husband oversaw for decades.

Bridgeport police say Dale LaPrade turned herself in Thursday after being told there was a warrant for her arrest. 

Complaints from relatives of those buried at Park Cemetery led police to search the property in September. Officials say gravestones and human remains were moved to make way for the newly dead, while human bones, casket pieces and broken gravestones were found in the woods.

Probate Judge Paul Ganim turned the case over to police months ago after a family member who had relatives buried in the cemetery asked for LaPrade to be removed from her post.

Police say they worked with a state anthropologist who employed ground-penetrating imaging technology and found that burial plots had indeed been improperly disrupted.

More than 130 families were affected by the mounting allegations stemming from the apparent deliberate desecration of graves, according to authorities.

News 12 spoke with family members who were visiting loved ones at Park Cemetery Thursday. They told News 12 they are ecstatic LaPrade is finally being held accountable for the horrific complaints.

Carmen Nievers tells News 12 she recently spoke with LaPrade about the whole situation.

"She was crying to me and she was like, she helped a lot of people, they didn't have no money and things like that and to know that there are bodies missing, or they found bones, I have a lot of family members here," says Nievers. "That's, I feel like crying. That's really sad, really sad and I am glad that she is arrested. If she did that, I am glad that she is arrested."

LaPrade was charged with felony interference with a cemetery and released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 18. If convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison.

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