Grave robbers steal caskets, remains from Italian cemetery in Ybor

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Grave robbers stole caskets and remains from a family’s mausoleum at the Italian Club Cemetery in Ybor City sometime before Wednesday, Tampa Police report.

Police say caskets with the remains of three bodies were taken; Carlos Spicola, who died in 1914, Maria Giuseppa Spicola, who died in 1913, and Giarolmo Spicola, who died in 1935. Police say in a separate coffin containing Rosalina Spicola, who died in 1975, the skull was removed but not the body. The mausoleum was damaged in the process of the theft.

Angelo Spicola tells News Channel 8 the graves that were disturbed belong to his family. “My grandfather, grandmother, great-grandfather and an aunt that we never knew because she died long before we were born,” said Spicola.

The family received a call from the cemetery Wednesday evening letting them know about the desecration.

“There’s all kind of cults that do all kinds of things, this happens all the time they say. I wasn’t aware of that,” said Spicola.

His brother is former Tampa City Council member Charles Spicola.

“When I saw that I just shook my head and said there are people that don’t deserve to be on the same earth with most of us and I would love to meet them,” said Charles Spicola, standing outside of his family’s mausoleum.

His grandparents established Spicola hardware in Ybor City. Charles Spicola is the founder of the Rough Riders in Tampa. He has a deep appreciation for history and family and for him the grave robberies have been particularly unsettling.

“I did not expect this. Desecration of a grave, desecration of a human body so it’s beyond my comprehension,” said Spicola.

Tampa Police say they are unsure of exactly when the robbery took place, or why someone would do this.
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