Four Cemetery Employees Face Theft and Conspiracy Charges
(DOVER, Del.) - Ethel Melvin was back at work at Sharon Hills Memorial Park Thursday after she and three other employees were arrested for allegedly swapping brass for cash at a local scrap metal shop.
Spokesperson for the cemetery Louis Ottaviano said the vases are not for cremains but for flowers. He said they sometimes get damaged. The staff then scraps them to dispose of them.
"We replace them and then we dispose of the damaged vases," Ottaviano said. "We've been doing that since 1959."
Officers have been investigating the case since may. They determined the employees scrapped the brass for $234.00 total.
Erin Porchenick has lived next to the cemetery for years. She said she is not sure what to think.
"I mean that's heartbreaking is they were stealing from the cemetery," Porchenick said. "Who would do that? That's just so wrong."
WRDE News spoke with employees at Dover Scrap Metals. The manager would not go on camera. However, he said the incident was the first time he had met the employees at Sharon Hills Memorial Park. The case is still under investigation by Delaware State Police.