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Man charged in theft of dad's corpse from cemetery

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By The Associated Press
Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 4:54 p.m.

DETROIT — A man accused of stealing his father's body from a Detroit cemetery and keeping it in a basement freezer is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Police say 48-year-old Vincent Bright had hoped to bring his father back to life. He was arraigned Friday in district court on a charge of disinterment of a body.

He was arraigned by video from the Wayne County Jail. Defense attorney Gerald Karafa told the Detroit Free Press that "it's an unusual case" but he hadn't yet spoken to Bright.

The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Clarence Bright's body disappeared from a cemetery Monday, hours before it was to be buried. Officers acting on a tip from other family members found the 93-year-old man's body in his son's home.

A man was charged Friday in the theft of his father's body from a Detroit cemetery after the corpse was discovered in a freezer in his basement.

Police say Vincent Bright, 48, had hoped to bring his father back to life.

Bright, of Detroit, is charged with disinterment of a body, the Wayne County prosecutor's office said Friday. The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Bright is scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Friday afternoon in 36th District Court in Detroit.

Clarence Bright's body disappeared from the Gethsemane Cemetery on Monday morning, just hours before it was to be buried. Police arrested Bright and a 38-year-old man the following day after finding them with an empty casket in the back of their van. Officers, acting on a tip from other family members, found the corpse in Vincent Bright's home on the city's east side.

Police Lt. Harold Rochon told The Detroit News that the son was religious and took the body hoping for it to be miraculously resurrected. Clarence Bright was 93 years old when he died.

A message seeking information on whether he had a lawyer on record was sent to a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office.

No charges have been announced against the other man.

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