More misplaced remains at Arlington Cemetery

Kathryn Condon, the newly appointed executive director of the Army National Cemeteries Program, looks out over Arlington National Cemetery. (J.J. Green/WTOP Photo)

JJ Green, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – An investigation — which was prompted by a
September report
from WTOP — has found more misplaced remains at Arlington
National Cemetery.

“In late October, the Executive Director of the Army
National Cemeteries Program, Kathryn Condon, became aware
of questionable practices that took place at Arlington
National Cemetery and requested that the U.S. Army
Criminal Investigation Command open an investigation into
allegations involving multiple burials of cremated remains
in a single location,” the Cemetery said in a statement.

A spokeswoman confirmed the investigation was launched
after the WTOP series “Dignity Denied,” in which
contractor Tim Langowski revealed he found two discarded
urns with ashes in a waste area of the Cemetery in 2005.

Langowski said he came to WTOP after hearing about a
congressional investigation into irregularities in burials
at the Cemetery earlier this year.

“Eight sets of cremated remains were discovered to be
buried in a single gravesite marked with an ‘unknown’
headstone,” Condon said in a statement. “Cemetery records
reflected there was only one set of cremated remains
interred in that location.”

To date, only “three sets of cremated remains have been
identified by Army CID special agents and Cemetery
officials.”

One set of cremated remains was unable to be positively
identified and was re-interred in the original grave site
marked with an ‘unknown’ headstone. A forensic
anthropologist was brought in to assist in that
determination.

Officials from Arlington National Cemetery say they are in
the process of notifying the families.

“This is an ongoing investigation and all information and
evidence concerning improper or illegal burials will be
considered by the CID,” the statement says. “The
leadership of Arlington National Cemetery and the Army
take these matters seriously and are fully committed to
taking the necessary actions to restore the integrity of
Arlington National Cemetery.”

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(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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