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Entries in Army Criminal Investigation Command (1)

Thursday
Dec022010

Arlington Cemetery Mix-Ups Continue

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- In October, Arlington Cemetery officials heard allegations involving multiple burials of cremated remains in a single location.  It was then that they discovered a grave marked “unknown” that contained eight sets of cremated remains, though paperwork indicated there was supposed to be only one set of remains at the grave.

Concerned by the development, the top official at the Arlington National Cemeteries Program asked for the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) to launch an investigation into how that came to pass.  It began the investigation in early November.

CID now has identified three sets of the remains because, apparently, the urns had markings by which they became identifiable. Families are being notified.

One set of remains was unable to be positively identified and was re-interred in the original grave site marked with the “unknown” headstone.  The effort to identify the others continues.

The cemetery’s troubles first were documented in June with the release of an Army Inspector General report that found systemic problems with record-keeping at the cemetery. It said an initial review had found at least 200 unmarked or misidentified graves.

The latest gaffe was in August -- the discovery that several graves contained mismatched sets of remains. That incident was deemed a result of human error. 

CID Special Agents are continuing to work to identify the other sets of cremated remains. This is an ongoing investigation and all information and evidence concerning improper or illegal burials will be considered by the CID. The leadership of Arlington National Cemetery and the Army take these matters seriously and are fully committed to taking the necessary actions to restore the integrity of Arlington National Cemetery.

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