Ex-caretaker of bone-strewn cemetery appears in court

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A former cemetery caretaker has appeared in court to face charges that she allowed new graves to be placed over old graves and approved the disposal of old headstones and human remains.

Dale LaPrade was the caretaker at Park Cemetery in Bridgeport. The 64-year-old appeared briefly in Bridgeport Superior Court on Tuesday, where her request for representation by a public defender was granted.

She declined reporters’ requests for an interview.

LaPrade was charged Dec. 6 with felony interference with a cemetery.

Officials say about 130 graves were disturbed at the cemetery, which includes the remains of Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans, to make way for new graves over the past seven years.

Complaints from relatives of those buried at the cemetery led police to search the property in September.

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