Former cemetery director sentenced to 12 years in prison

July 8, 2011

(AP/file)

The Cook County State's Attorney has made the first conviction in a cemetery desecration scandal.

Carolyn Towns is the former director of the historic Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip. She pled guilty today to all the counts against her including desecration of human remains and theft from a place of worship. She's been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart lead the initial investigation into the scandal. He says the conviction will be welcome news to effected families, but it might not bring closure.

"I don't think there's any sentence, any mound of days or years that we're going to put some of these lives back together," he said.

Three grave diggers were also charged. They're scheduled to appear in court next week.