Officials Continue Arlington Cemetery Investigation

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army Crim­i­nal Inves­ti­ga­tion Com­mand will con­tin­ue its inquiry into any poten­tial crimes or oth­er impro­pri­eties com­mit­ted at Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery, a spokesman for CID announced yes­ter­day.

“Sec­re­tary of the Army John McHugh stat­ed a year ago that the Army was not done inves­ti­gat­ing prob­lems at Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery,” Chris Grey, CID’s chief of pub­lic affairs, said at a news con­fer­ence at the ceme­tery here. “We are vig­or­ous­ly pur­su­ing any wrong­do­ing, and if crim­i­nal con­duct is found, the Army will take appro­pri­ate action.” The CID is inves­ti­gat­ing sev­er­al alle­ga­tions involv­ing for­mer employ­ees and activ­i­ties at Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery since Octo­ber 2010, Grey said.

“Army CID cur­rent­ly has ongo­ing crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tions into … the bur­ial of eight sets of cre­mat­ed remains in one sin­gle loca­tion at the ceme­tery, improp­er bur­ial reser­va­tions and pos­si­ble con­tract fraud,” he explained.

While CID is the lead agency in the inves­ti­ga­tion, Grey said the com­mand is work­ing with oth­er agen­cies to assist with its inquiry into the oper­a­tion of the nation­al ceme­tery. “We have asked for, and are cur­rent­ly work­ing, a joint inves­ti­ga­tion with the FBI,” he said.

Grey said the inves­ti­ga­tion does not include cur­rent admin­is­tra­tors and work­ers at the nation­al ceme­tery.

He also dis­cussed efforts to iden­ti­fy the eight sets of cre­mat­ed remains dis­cov­ered dur­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion.

CID, in coor­di­na­tion with ANC … was able to iden­ti­fy three of the cre­mat­ed remains,” he said, not­ing that ceme­tery offi­cials have noti­fied the fam­i­lies.

“Two of the three sets of those remains have been rein­terred at the fam­i­lies’ request,” Grey said.

One set of cre­mat­ed remains is still unknown, he said, and three sets were uniden­ti­fi­able.

CID is still inves­ti­gat­ing and work­ing hard to deter­mine the iden­ti­ty of one set of remain­ing cre­mat­ed remains,” he said.

Although plac­ing mul­ti­ple remains in a sin­gle grave site is improp­er, Grey said it was not a charge­able offense.

“Although we are very upset and con­cerned about the dis­cov­ery of mul­ti­ple urns in one grave, our dis­cus­sions with an assis­tant U.S. attor­ney deter­mined that the bur­ial of mul­ti­ple cre­mat­ed remains in one grave site does not con­sti­tute a crim­i­nal vio­la­tion,” he explained.

The inquiry also led inves­ti­ga­tors to a stor­age facil­i­ty in Vir­ginia, Grey said.

“More recent­ly, 69 box­es of records relat­ed to Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery were found in a stor­age facil­i­ty in Falls Church, Vir­ginia,” he said. “[Of those,] 68 were dupli­cate copies of exist­ing records, and Army CID kept one box con­tain­ing con­tract-relat­ed infor­ma­tion.”

CID offi­cials do not believe the box­es are linked to any poten­tial crim­i­nal con­duct. With ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tions into oth­er alle­ga­tions, Grey said the Army CID would go wher­ev­er the inves­ti­ga­tion leads the orga­ni­za­tion.

CID, along with senior Army lead­er­ship, to include the sec­re­tary of the Army, and the new lead­er­ship here at [Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery], takes these issues very seri­ous­ly,” he said. “[We] are ful­ly com­mit­ted to inves­ti­gat­ing all alle­ga­tions and evi­dence … that come to light con­cern­ing mat­ters of our nation’s most hal­lowed ground.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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