Police are officially investigating allegations a grave digger exhumed bodies without permits, pocketed money from selling cemetery items and got kickbacks.
Police are officially investigating allegations a grave digger exhumed bodies without permits, pocketed money from selling cemetery items and got kickbacks.

Grave digger investigated for digging up bodies

Allegations a grave digger exhumed bodies illegally and pocketed money on the side by taking payments from funeral directors and selling cemetery furniture are being investigated by police.

The case involving former Mildura Cemetery Trust employee Darren Bock was referred to authorities last month and is now being probed by local officers.

The investigation comes after a disturbing report into the Mildura Cemetery Trust by Ombudsman Deborah Glass, which found improper conduct spanning two decades at the Nichols Point and Murray Pines cemeteries.

A report by Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass uncovered improper conduct at two cemeteries spanning two decades. Picture: AAP
A report by Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass uncovered improper conduct at two cemeteries spanning two decades. Picture: AAP

At least four bodies were allegedly removed from graves at Mr Bock's request without the proper paperwork and witnesses reported disturbing scenes during the process.

- If you have had a loved one mistreated by the funeral or cemetery industry, email news@heraldsun.com.au

"When we arrived, Darren was down in the grave with the exposed remains of [Mr F]," one officer told investigators.

"The grave was quite deep, [two other people] and I were standing approximately one metre from the edge of the grave. … Darren sifted through the remains and picked up one of the femurs."

There are also allegations one woman was buried in the wrong plot, leaving family members distraught.

It is also claimed Mr Bock arranged the sale of chairs from the cemetery, which he derived personal benefit from.

Victoria Police spokeswoman Creina O'Grady said authorities were "aware of recommendations made by the Victorian Ombudsman in relation to a cemetery in Mildura". "As the investigation remains ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further."

alex.white@news.com.au


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