Authorities investigate after casket found on side of road

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after holes were dug at cemetery near Newton and a casket was found on the side of a road about 30 miles to the south in Wichita.

The casket turned up early Thursday morning just south of Interstate 235 and north of the Little Arkansas River, The Wichita Eagle  reports. Police released photos that showed that the handles on the side of the metal casket had been removed and the lid had been pried open.

Wichita police Lt. James Espinoza said there was no body in the casket.

“We just don’t know where it came from or anything like that,” Espinoza said. “We’re trying to identify the coffin and the markings, trying to identify if there are any markers.”

The discovery came after the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that it was looking for suspects who had dug at least two holes at Missionary Church Cemetery, near Newton. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said Friday afternoon that the “bizarre folks are out.” He said that the casket that was found wouldn’t have come from the digging that happened in his county because the holes weren’t large enough.

Deputies have put together a map of all cemeteries in Harvey County and will be checking if any more have been dug at, Walton said.

“The vehicle who had been doing this parked along the side of the road, because you have to walk in,” Walton said. “It was probably done at night, and done, I would say, in somewhat of a disorganized and frenzied manner. This is solid ground – it’s not soft or anything. They dug and just threw the sod and dirt instead of putting it alongside the hole.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact authorities.

 

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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