Babies' Graves Vanish From Ill. Cemetery
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 5:50 AM CDT
Grave markers are seen scattered on the floor of a shack at the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Ill., yesterday.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – Police declared the whole of Burr Oak cemetery in the Chicago suburbs to be a crime scene last night, after hundreds of families reported empty or missing graves, including an entire section of the cemetery called Babyland, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Relatives will be barred from the site for about the next week. The local sheriff believes well over 300 graves were excavated by four employees who dumped remains in a mass grave and resold their plots.

The part of the cemetery reserved for children could not be found. "A lot of women came up to me and asked for help with Babyland," the sheriff tells CNN. "To a person, every one I talked to could not find any of their children in Babyland." Many grave sites are completely missing, he added, and records of many burials have disappeared. Four workers face felony charges in the scheme said to have netted them hundreds of thousands of dollars.