MORRISVILLE, Vt. Apr 11, 2005 — A 17-year-old Morrisville youth was being held on $100,000 bail after police said he raided a tomb in a cemetery and removed a head from a corpse.
"We had a person voice their concerns about information they had heard on the street," said Chief Richard Keith of the Morristown Police Department.
Keith said police at first could not believe what they had heard. But when they went to Morrisville Cemetery and investigated, they found that someone had broken into a tomb, broken open the casket and removed a man's head.
"We had the funeral director come to the scene and we pulled the casket out. Yes, indeed, we found remains and they had been disturbed," Keith said.
Nickolas Buckalew, 17, later was arrested and charged with unauthorized removal of a dead body. He pleaded innocent to the crime.
Police believe they have a strong case against Buckalew because remains and evidence were found in a silo near the suspect's home outside the village and 2/10ths of a mile from the cemetery.
"Within minutes we found the duffle bag with the remains in it and tools that were used to enter the tomb and the casket," Keith said.
The victim's widow, the only family member in the area, was told of the vandalism.
"The widow was in shock," the chief said. "She did not want any information. She did not want to know any details."
Authorities are not sure of the motive of the crime. Court documents said the suspect allegedly talked of using the man's head as a bong or a pipe for smoking marijuana.