Police: Man says he took human remains for religious reasons - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police: Man says he took human remains for religious reasons

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(AP) -

A Connecticut man accused of stealing five sets of human remains from a cemetery in Worcester, Massachusetts, practices Santeria and took the skeletons for religious reasons, according to police.

Investigators said Amador Medina, 32, of Hartford, Connecticut, stole the remains of three adults and two young children from Hope Cemetery. Medina was arrested Friday as a fugitive from justice.

Medina is a priest who practices Santeria, an Afro-Cuban cult developed from the beliefs and customs of the Yoruba people and incorporating some elements of the Catholic religion. Investigators said Medina wanted the bones for medicinal reasons as part of his religion, and that older bones are preferred.

"He is a practicing Santeria priest, which is a religion in some Latino communities that you see. It’s rarely seen actually," said Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley. "The age of the deceased, as well as how long they have been deceased, is relevant in how they use those remains in their medicinal value."

It wasn't immediately known if Medina had an attorney. A phone listing for him could not immediately be located Sunday.

Medina is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

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