HARTFORD Conn. (AP) – A police report that grave robbers stole the corpse of a woman buried in a Bloomfield cemetery more than 70 years ago turned out to be dead wrong Thursday.

The casket, empty with its top broken open, had been dragged outside, apparently by grave robbers, and dumped several yards from the mausoleum where it had rested for seven decades in the Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery.

To avoid contaminating the mausoleum’s crime scene, the forensic team started by examining the empty casket outside Thursday and worked its way inside later in the day, Capt. Jeffrey Blatter said.

That’s where they found bones, and other items strewn on the mausoleum floor where they had not been easily visible from the outside, he said. The remains were not discovered earlier in the day because officers could not search inside without the risk of contaminating evidence such as footprints, he said.

“It appears to be more of a grave robbery,” Blatter said. “Everything initially done at the start of the investigation was done the proper way, and that’s what first led us to believe a body had been taken.”

The remains apparently fell when the casket’s rotted bottom dropped out as the thieves pulled it off a shelf.

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