Fourth suspect charged in selling of Sharon Hills cemetery urns

DOVER — Delaware State Police confirmed Wednesday that the fourth suspect in the alleged scrapping of several brass flower urns from a Dover-area cemetery has been taken into custody.

Donald L. Melvin

Donald L. Melvin

Donald L. Melvin, 36, of Camden-Wyoming, appeared in Kent County Court of Common Pleas in Dover Tuesday on charges of desecration and third-degree conspiracy.

According to police, an investigation determined several brass urns were taken from headstones at the Sharon Hills Memorial Park, west of Dover, and sold to a Dover scrapyard. The cemetery manager Ethel A. Melvin of Dover, who allegedly provided the scrapyard permission to accept the urns, was taken into custody July 28 at the cemetery and charged with third-degree conspiracy and desecration.

According to police, she is the mother of Mr. Melvin.

Mr. Melvin told troopers he was allowed to scrap the urns in order to clear out shed space at the funeral home for which he works, according to Sgt. Richard Bratz, Delaware State Police director of public information. Mr. Melvin also said his supervisor granted him permission.

According to police, Mr. Melvin said “it depends” if the money for the scrapped flower urns goes to him or the funeral home. The funeral home was not identified.

Shaughn A. Graves and Mrs. Melvin’s daughter Laurie A. Larlham, both of Camden-Wyoming, also have been charged in the case.

Mr. Melvin was released on $2,000 unsecured bond.

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