Puerto Rico town mystified by missing remains of 40 people

The Associated Press
Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The remains of at least 40 people are missing from a cemetery in a sleepy Puerto Rican town where officials are trying to solve a mystery that has frightened neighbours and upset families.

The apparent thefts occurred at Gurabo's oldest cemetery, which features rows of white mausoleums.

Public Works Director Jose Roman told The Associated Press Tuesday that he has never seen anything like that in his nine years with the municipality.

No one has been able to explain the disappearances. Some believe the bones are being stolen for Santeria rituals while others say thieves are snatching the steel boxes that hold the bones to sell them on the black market.

Ramon said police are patrolling the cemetery because he has been unable to find a night guard.