CRIME

Martinsburg mausoleum thefts: David Bowers, Richard Ruffner charged

Decrease Increase Text size

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WJLA) - Two men are charged with breaking into mausoleums at a Martinsburg, W.Va. cemetery, ripping open caskets, and stealing jewelry from the dead.

Police say David Bowers, left, and Richard Ruffner struck the Rosedale Cemetery mausoleums at night, cracking the caskets and ripping jewelry off the corpses. Photo: West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority

Police say David Bowers, 24, and Richard Ruffner, 29, struck the Rosedale Cemetery mausoleums at night, cracking the caskets and ripping jewelry off the corpses, leaving the bodies strewn about the crypts.

"It's amazing and disturbing at the same time," says Kim Steckman at Martinsburg. "I can't believe what people do."

Kyleen Bartle's father is buried at Rosedale.

"It really is despicable and it's inexcusable, really," she says.

Workers at Rosedale made the grisly discovery in May.

Police say Bowers and Ruffer took some of the jewelry to the Martinsburg Mall and sold it for cash.

"Wow, if I was the family I would be devastated by that," Steckman says.

Bowers and Ruffner face charges of destruction of property and disinterring and tempering with dead bodies. They are being held on $70,000 and $470,000 bonds, respectively.

Recommended For You