Three bodies stolen from historic Ybor City crypt

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Police are investigating a break-in at an old cemetery in Ybor City.

They're not yet sure when the crime happened, but they say someone broke into a crypt at the Italian Club Cemetery at 24th Avenue and 26th Street and removed portions of some remains.

Angelo Spicola, of the Ybor City Development Corporation, told FOX 13's Crystal Clark that the disturbed remains include those of his grandparents.

Police say the suspect or suspects smashed a lock on a mausoleum belonging to the Spicola family and removed one coffin that contained three bodies, identified as:

  • Carlos Spicola, who died in 1914
  • Maria Giuseppa Spicola, who died in 1913
  • Giarolmo Spicola, who died in 1935

A separate coffin -- containing Rosalina Spicola, who died in 1975 -- was also disturbed.  The skull was removed, but not the body.

“It was astounding, and it really irritates me to no end… Just seeing your loved ones, predecessors, grave desecrated is bad enough, but my thoughts towards those that did this cannot be printed, and I would love to meet them,” said Charles Spicola, grandson of the victims.

While the Italian Club Cemetery dates back to 1896, police describe it as small, with not a lot of foot traffic, so it could be hard to figure out just when the break-in happened.

Signs on the cemetery grounds warn of video surveillance, but police say there is no footage of the crime.

Andrea Davis, spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department said investigators could not yet guess what the motive might have been.

“It’s a very small cemetery and it doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic, so it could be something that happened months ago, it could have happened recently, we just don’t know,” Davis said.