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Friday, 31 January, 2003, 19:31 GMT
NY teenagers 'robbed grave'
Darth Vader
The villain of Star Wars is famous for his mask
Two New York teenagers have been accused of stealing a skeleton from a cemetery and taking it to a party dressed as the Star Wars villain Darth Vader.

Michael Herz, 18, and Michael Sossi, 17, allegedly took the body of an actor who died in 1938, and two skulls, from a crypt on Long Island in November.

"Herz dressed up the full body with glasses and then they put a Darth Vader mask on him," said detective Brian McMenemy.

The two teenagers, and a third youth accused of "receiving a stolen body", all deny the charges.

A teacher at Patchogue-Medford High School where the teenagers attend apparently overheard talk of the prank and reported it to the police.

Actor's bones

The two have been charged with body stealing, opening a grave and first-degree cemetery desecration.

Along with the third suspect, 19-year-old Patrick O'Rourke, they have been released on bail.

Police say that the bones, which were found dumped beneath a motorway, have now been reinterred at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

The skeleton belongs to Elmer Grandin, an actor born in 1861 who appeared in several Broadway shows and silent Westerns.

See also:

13 Jun 02 | Entertainment
27 May 02 | England
26 Apr 02 | Education
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