Recent Thefts at Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery Have Families Grieving Twice
Two recent thefts from Forest Lawn Cemetery has families grieving all over again.
The stolen items are statues that belong to family memorials, among them one valued at $46,675.
That theft -- a bronze sculpture of a couple dancing -- has one family member devastated.
"What went through my head was, how can I go there now?" said Michelle Gigante [daughter of the couple whose memorial was robbed] "How can I go sit in that site and be able to handle that kind of a loss, that kind of a violation, and look at that empty stump?"
In the last month, two statues from memorials have been stolen.
Buffalo Police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said police have recovered one of them, but would not provide more details to "avoid jeopardizing the probe into the thefts," reports the Buffalo News.
According to police reports the statues were stolen earlier this month and reported to police on Sunday.
The family discovered the statue missing when they went to visit over the weekend. The bronze statue is 3-4 feet tall, weighs several hundred pounds, and is often highlighted during tours of the historic cemetery.
The statue honors her father, Joseph, who loved going ballroom dancing and listening to live music with his wife, Rozanne, at the popular entertainment venues of Buffalo's past.
"Everybody knew them as the dancers," Michelle Gigante said.
Gigante told the Buffalo News of her disappointment regarding Forest Lawn's response:
"Forest Lawn officials told her, the monument is the property and responsibility of the Gigantes.
"My family was deeply saddened by the lack of accountability from Forest Lawn," Gigante said."