Real Estate & Property Law

Woman, 91, Can Keep Exhumed Bodies at Home If She Builds a Crypt, DA Says

Faced with an unusual situation, a Pennsylvania prosecutor is offering an unusual solution.

Jean Stevens, 91, who apparently persuaded an unidentified individual to exhume the bodies of two close relatives so she could talk with them as they lay on sofas at her home in rural Wyalusing Township, can get the bodies—which were seized by authorities last month—back. But first she will have to build an above-ground crypt if she wants her husband’s and twin sister’s mortal remains returned rather than reburied, according to the Associated Press and the Times-Tribune.

“If she does that, the bodies will be released for that purpose,” says Bradford County District Attorney Daniel Barrett. “Otherwise they will be re-interred.”

Stevens’ husband, who died in 1999, and her sister, who died last fall, apparently were dug up soon after they were buried. Both died of natural causes.

At last report, Barrett hadn’t yet decided whether to pursue possible charges including misdemeanor abuse of a corpse.

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