CHICAGO (Reuters) - The cremated remains of an Ohio man buried earlier this year at the same grave site as the wife he was convicted of murdering were removed from a city-owned cemetery on Thursday, a city official said.
"Mr. Dallas' remains were disinterred this morning, with a Dallas family member present, and given to the Bush Funeral Home to make arrangements for them to be returned to Mr. Dallas' children on the East Coast," said Mary Siwierka, Safety Service director for the city of Elyria.
According to her daughter, Crystal Denn, Mary Dallas died in her sleep in 1993 at a women's shelter from internal injuries and head trauma days after a beating from her husband of three months. Marvin Dallas pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and served a prison sentence before being released.
Denn, 37, said she was visiting the Brookdale Cemetery in Elyria, 30 miles west of Cleveland, a week ago when she realized that the dirt by her mother's headstone had recently been disturbed.
Denn also knew that her stepfather, Marvin Dallas, had died in January. "I thought, 'I bet you that is him in there,'" she said.
When her fears were confirmed Denn, said she broke down. "I almost lost my ability to stand," she said.
Denn was 14 when her mother died and said she has had no contact with the family of her mother's killer. But she was told that the cemetery was following Marvin Dallas' wishes and that they did not question it since the marriage had not been dissolved.
The cemetery plot was purchased by Denn's uncle, who still lives in the area, but no one in her family was notified that Dallas' cremated remains would be buried with her mother.
Denn said that once it was brought to the cemetery's attention, things moved quickly. She added that she would eventually like to replace her mother's headstone with one that reads: "Beloved Wife."
(Editing by Fiona Ortiz and G Crosse)