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More misplaced remains at Arlington Cemetery

Thursday - 12/2/2010, 3:41pm  ET

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Kathryn Condon, the newly appointed executive director of the Army National Cemeteries Program, looks out over Arlington National Cemetery. (J.J. Green/WTOP Photo)
JJ Green, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - An investigation -- which was prompted by a September report from WTOP -- has found more misplaced remains at Arlington National Cemetery.

"In late October, the Executive Director of the Army National Cemeteries Program, Kathryn Condon, became aware of questionable practices that took place at Arlington National Cemetery and requested that the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command open an investigation into allegations involving multiple burials of cremated remains in a single location," the Cemetery said in a statement.

A spokeswoman confirmed the investigation was launched after the WTOP series "Dignity Denied," in which contractor Tim Langowski revealed he found two discarded urns with ashes in a waste area of the Cemetery in 2005.

Langowski said he came to WTOP after hearing about a congressional investigation into irregularities in burials at the Cemetery earlier this year.

"Eight sets of cremated remains were discovered to be buried in a single gravesite marked with an 'unknown' headstone," Condon said in a statement. "Cemetery records reflected there was only one set of cremated remains interred in that location."

To date, only "three sets of cremated remains have been identified by Army CID special agents and Cemetery officials."

One set of cremated remains was unable to be positively identified and was re-interred in the original grave site marked with an 'unknown' headstone. A forensic anthropologist was brought in to assist in that determination.

Officials from Arlington National Cemetery say they are in the process of notifying the families.

"This is an ongoing investigation and all information and evidence concerning improper or illegal burials will be considered by the CID," the statement says. "The leadership of Arlington National Cemetery and the Army take these matters seriously and are fully committed to taking the necessary actions to restore the integrity of Arlington National Cemetery."

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(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)