Severed pig head found in Vineland cemetery

VINELAND, N.J. - October 20, 2011

The head was found by a groundskeeper on Tuesday on top of one of the graves.

It wasn't the first time animal parts were found there.

Bud Plexico, the superintendent of six Camden Diocesan cemeteries, believes the animals may have been used in religious rituals.

Vineland police are looking at the possibility but say they have little to go on because, they say, the animal remains were thrown out when the incidents were reported.

"In the 18 years I've been here we've had one or two other incidents in the city that we've investigated but it's not something that happens all the time," said Matt Finley of the Vineland Police. "That's why it's crucial that we see the evidence and anything that's related to it."

Since early summer there have been about a half-dozen incidents at the cemetery. Headless crows were found, as well as mice that appear to have been store-bought.

Most of the mutilated animals were found along the Valley Avenue side of the cemetery.

"I it's disgusting," said Carrie Cross of Vineland. "People are laid here to be at peace, to be at rest."

"We can't be here 24 hours a day, but we have updated our security," Plexico said. "We're doing the best we can."

In addition to increase security, Vineland police are increasing patrols around the cemetery.

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