Two men were arrested after the authorities allegedly connected them to criminal activity using DNA left on a cigar at the site of grave robberies in a Florida cemetery.
43-year-old Brian Tolentino resides in Davenport, and 39-year-old Juan Lopez is a resident of Lake Wales. Both men originally hail from Puerto Rico.
Tolentino has a felony record, and Davenport worked as a police officer before they came to the incorporated U.S. mainland.
Both men have been accused of taking part in an incident involving bones and skulls being stolen from graves at the Edgewood Cemetery in Mount Dora in early December.
Two women were driving past the graveyard on December 4, and they said they saw what looked like a disturbed gravesite with a visible open casket.
After they got out of the car to go take a look, the women notified the authorities and reported that concrete was scattered around and dismembered human remains had been unearthed.
When the scene was scoured by investigators, they reported that they discovered many items they believed were evidence, including a cigar that might contain DNA.
When the DNA results were collected, the sample was an alleged match for Tolentino.
Tolentino reportedly said that he assisted Lopez, but that he had only held open a bag while Lopez stole the body parts. He additionally allegedly said that it was part of a Palo Mayombe religious ritual and that they were led there by supernatural entities.
When the police went to Lopez’s residence, they reported that they discovered six human skulls and several dismembered bones.
Lopez and Tolentino were both taken into custody and booked into the county detention center. They are each expected to face charges for suspicion of four counts of disturbing the contents of a grave and four counts of abuse of a dead human body.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a criminal offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.