They are calling this the biggest and most horrific crime scene Cook County has ever had. Burr Oak Cemetery is closed to the public because of this. They have no idea when it will re-open. Every time I turned on any local news, there is either Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff, or Reverend Jesse Jackson. CLTV News has had plenty of relative interviews on over the weekend, and I am sure they will continue. CLTV was at Eisenhower High School where the County set up an area for family to inquire about their family members in Burr Oak.
The above pictures are in another cemetery west of Burr Oak, also in Alsip in Southern Cook County, it also has a former Mayor of Chicago, Mayor Daley. The pictures are from Holy Sepulchre. Burr Oak Cemetery has Mayor Washington. But this one is open, now.
Todd Stroger was on News Radio WGN this morning talking to Gregg Jarrett. Todd told him Sheriff Dart said it will be around $200,000 in overtime expenses for the extra Cook County Sheriff's. Todd also said he will be meeting with his CFO and Comptroller about where the money will come from. Todd said they will find the money to fund this crime. Todd also told Jarrett that this is not a disaster area, and they can not use disaster funds because it is not a natural disaster. Todd did say that trucks, generators, tents, and other equipment from all Cook County services, including the Forest Preserve District,are being used at Burr Oaks for this investigation.
Also note, Steve Patterson is now Sheriff Tom Dart's Spokesman. Steve Patterson was a political reporter for the Southtown Star who covered Cook County Politics. Steve Patterson was also arrested covering a story at Stroger Hospital, he was mistaken for a protestor.
Dan Hynes also had a few things to say.
Hynes said his office doesn’t have the legal authority to police the nearly 2,000 funeral homes, cemeteries and crematories it oversees in a “very narrow, limited role.”
Relatives of more than 7,000 people buried in Burr Oak Cemetery are trying to find out whether the graves of their loved ones are among those desecrated, authorities said Sunday.
The number of angry mourners grew over the weekend as investigators locked the gates of the cemetery near Alsip and Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes vowed to have the cemetery seized from owners.
Though detectives so far believe at least 300 bodies were illegally exhumed and dumped in a mass grave so their plots could be resold, thousands of dead remain unaccounted for by their families."
Beginning Monday, authorities face the daunting task of identifying more than 100,000 graves.
More heart breaking stories
“Babyland,” which Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said Friday no longer could be found.
“I heard they can’t find Babyland,” Jackson said. “She’s supposed to be in Babyland, so I want to know where she’s at.”
Jackson last visited Charronda’s grave in May. She has called the hot-line number to get information above the specific gravesite but has been unable to get through. She visited the cemetery last week, but the throngs of people made it difficult to get any answers.
The news that her daughter’s grave might be lost is forcing her to go through the grieving process once again, she said.
“I’ve been crying. I can’t sleep. It’s horrible,” she said. “It’s even worse because I don’t know where she’s at.”
She is not alone.
Elli Patacque Montgomery, a medical advocate for the Cook County Sheriff’s office, spent Sunday trying to help people through the information process and offering them counsel in their grief.
“People are either in denial or they are angry,” she said.
The cemetery where many well-known blacks are buried — including Emmett Till, whose death helped spark the Civil Rights Movement — has been closed since 8 p.m. Friday because it is considered a crime scene. There was no indication Sunday as to when it will reopen.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson said Sunday that religious leaders will work with will work with Till’s family to start a fund for a memorial. Money that was in a fund administered by the former cemetery manager apparently has disappeared.
On Sunday, Cook County Sheriff’s employees were taking information at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island from those seeking information about burial plots.
“We’re trying to get information from them and give them burial plot information. Hopefully, they’ll find out everything is OK,” said Willie Winters, director of jail diversion and crime prevention.
Steve Patterson, a spokesman for Dart, said there are 100,000 gravesites at the cemetery, according to the maps the sheriff’s department has found.
Richard and Leola Reynolds, of Blue Island, hoped everything would be OK with the burial sites they were seeking information about. The couple went to the high school seeking information about Richard’s father and six of Leola’s relatives who are buried at Burr Oak.
“We visit every year,” Richard Reynolds said. “We have a hunch they haven’t been disturbed.”
By 2 p.m. Sunday, more than 1,000 people seeking information about burial plots had been to the high school to fill out forms. The sheriff’s office was expected to contact them within five days, Winters said. But officials said that as of today, requests for information will be accepted only via e-mail or over the phone. Information will be taken at (800) 942-1950 or (708) 865-6070 or burroakcemetery