Desecrated Corpse Leads to Suspicion of Voodoo or Witchcraft

Wilner Jean Pierre is the pastor at First Haitian Church of the Nazarene. He says “Well when I heard that I couldn't believe what happened." While Pierre's church is right across the street from the Major Adams cemetery he says he's never noticed anything odd there. "I have never been suspicious about you know anything like that." The cemetery is located near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue West and 3rd Street West.

Pastor Pierre says he can't believe police discovered a corpse exposed in its tomb and that's not all. Captain Russ Tibbitts of the Bradenton Police Department says "There was a dead rooster that was wrapped up in what was initially described as a blanket."

According to the police report the rooster's legs were broken and safety pins pierced its body. There were candles, a black cross and some loose change and cigarettes nearby.

It was discovered on land that Major Alden Joseph Adams donated to the community for a cemetery back in 1892. It was established for members of pioneer families. Adams and his family were laid to rest in the cemetery and now it's owned by the city. Bradenton police say the area is a favorite with some transients and homeless people but besides occasional trash littering the area there are few problems there. "It has the earmarks of being some kind of ritual or ritualistic belief or religion. Those branch out often times into very, very serious situations."

Captain Tibbitts says a note was left behind that could provide some important clues for detectives. "The note had a couple of names on it and they're trying to figure out if the names mean anything."

Meanwhile Pastor Pierre is gearing up to explain what happened in the cemetery to his congregation on Sunday. "I know they're going to be shocked."

Tibbitts says the person who's found responsible could face charges for disturbing a gravesite, animal cruelty and trespassing. He says this is not the first odd case the department has investigated. "We actually found a severed hand out in the Manatee River." Tibbitts says they later charged a person with the crime who was connected to a funeral home. Tibbitts says the suspect in the case was taking part in some type of ritual to ward off bad luck.

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