Officials suspect religious practice behind stolen remains

PERTH AMBOY - Authorities say they suspect a string of grave robberies in Middlesex County could be the work of people involved in a non-traditional religious practice.

According to police, the remains of a two-year-old were dug up and taken from a Perth Amboy cemetery in November. They say another incident happened just last week, when a crypt was smashed in Fords and the body of a 72-year-old man was stolen.

Dr. Pasquale Simonelli, a professor at Monmouth University, says that there are New Jersey residents who practice Palo Mayombe, an ancient African religion that believes human bones have special powers.

Police have not named a religion or cult in their investigation, but officials say Palo Mayombe followers have been linked to grave thefts in Newark and Connecticut.

Body thefts may be linked to 'non-traditional religious practices'Police: Human remains stolen from another Middlesex cemetery

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