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BURIAL PLOTS MAY HAVE BEEN REUSED

SHARE BURIAL PLOTS MAY HAVE BEEN REUSED

Investigators hope to make a map of two cemeteries where it is believed thousands of bodies might have been buried in already occupied graves, a state official said Friday.

Attorney General Fred Cowan's consumer protection division launched an investigation of the cemeteries in May after a tip from a grave-digger that old burial lots were being reused.Investigators have since unearthed old headstones at the Eastern Cemetery, near downtown, and at Greenwood Cemetery, on the city's west side, and have speculated that many old graves were not marked properly, if at all. The cemeteries are thought to contain about 81,000 bodies.

Both cemeteries probably were full by the turn of the century, said Phil DiBlasi, a University of Louisville archaeologist.

The burial grounds are owned by Louisville Crematory and Cemeteries Inc., founded in 1854. The corporation and three of its officers were charged with 60 criminal counts, including theft, corpse abuse and grave desecration.

Burials in reserved graves have continued at both cemeteries since the investigation began, Cowan said.

Investigators "cannot provide any individual consumer with specific assurances about their particular family member who may be buried there," Cowan said. "I'm very sorry to say that, but that's simply a fact of life."